Merck Game on! For MS

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Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic illness that attacks the nervous system

2.8 million people around the world live with the disease, many of whom were diagnosed in their twenties. The lack of awareness and understanding, in addition to the often-invisible symptoms, means a diagnosis can lead to social isolation.

We recognize that supporting people with MS involves more than just developing medicines. They also need supportive communities to help them stay connected with their peers. So, when we learned that the official theme for World MS Day 2020-2022 is “MS Connections”, we took a radically new approach. By tapping into the online gaming and eSports community to connect people, this year’s World MS Day event was truly ground-breaking.

Partnering with Twitch, the unofficial home of eSports streaming, we created the first-ever Twitch event by a pharmaceutical company. With the help of some hand-picked pro gamers that our young audience know and love, we held ‘Game On! For MS’. An 8-hour gaming extravaganza! We shared real-life stories, smashed stereotypes and demystified MS. And we created an accessible online community for people living with MS in the process.

“As a vibrant science and technology company, curiosity drives everything we do. This curiosity fuels our desire to really understand Multiple Sclerosis from the inside out and as a consequence, find innovative ways to support the MS community. The official theme for World MS Day this year – MS Connections - provided us with an opportunity to do something totally new and connect with a younger, global audience. The positive livestream feedback and social engagement blew us away and has inspired us to continue to push the boundaries with our disease awareness efforts in the future.” Andrew Paterson, Head of the Global and US Multiple Sclerosis Franchise, Merck