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News & Press: CMSC Industry News for MS (INforMS)

CMSC INforMS: EMD Serono’s Embracing Carers Launches ‘Time Counts’ to Raise 1M Minutes of Support

Tuesday, July 16, 2019  
Posted by: Elizabeth Porco
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 ‘Time Counts’ launches as a social media-led video series asking individuals to collectively give 1 million minutes to better support caregivers

 Embracing CarersTM, a global initiative led by EMD Serono, raises awareness about the often-overlooked needs of caregivers and develops practical support solutions collaboratively with global caregiving organizations

Rockland, MA – EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical company of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in the U.S. and Canada, today announced that its Embracing CarersTM initiative has launched ‘Time Counts,’ a social media-led video series asking friends and families of caregivers to collectively give 1 million minutes of their time to better support caregivers around the world.

“Caregivers are critical contributors not only to a patient’s health, but also for health systems, which would be greatly disadvantaged without the millions of hours of their silent work,” said Belén Garijo, Member of the Executive Board and CEO Healthcare at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “Caregivers focus their services, energy and too often sacrifice their own health in order to help others. Through Embracing CarersTM, we are dedicated to making carer support visible, recognized and considered a global health priority.”    

Embracing Carers™ recognizes that caregivers dedicate so much of their time to supporting a loved one that their own basic health-related activities are often selflessly sacrificed. For example, 54% of unpaid caregivers don’t have time to book or attend their own medical appointments, while 58% find it difficult to sleep on a regular basis, according to a 2017 Embracing Carers™ international online survey conducted by EMD Serono.[1] 

‘Time Counts’ by Embracing CarersTM hopes to assuage these time constraints by aiming to raise 1 million minutes of time to provide caregivers with support in their role. By sharing caregiver stories via social media, ‘Time Counts’ will encourage individuals to give time to help with specific tasks, such as grocery shopping, cooking a meal or checking-in to connect and let them know support is available.

An advocate of ‘Time Counts’, actor Sean Hayes, famed for his Emmy-winning performance as Jack McFarland on NBC’s Will & Grace, shared his story of caregiving for his mother during her battle with Alzheimer’s disease and encourages viewers to help the caregivers in their own lives by giving their most valuable support of all­ – time.  Sean has partnered with Embracing CarersTM to create a video message to announce ‘Time Counts’, which asks viewers to visit and participate. The aim is that through ‘Time Counts’, individuals will give time back to caregivers so they can better address their own health and wellbeing.

“The International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO) is proud to be a strategic advisor for the Embracing Carers™ initiative that has become a global force in creating awareness and recognition of caregivers since 2017,” said Nadine Henningsen, IACO Board Chair.  “Through innovative campaigns like ‘Time Counts’ we can build on this momentum to ensure caregivers are recognized and supported in their vital role.”

For more information on Embracing Carers™, visit

About Embracing CarersTM

Launched in 2017, Embracing CarersTM is a global initiative led by EMD Serono in collaboration with leading carer organizations around the world to increase awareness and discussion about the often-overlooked needs of caregivers. The Embracing Carers™ global advisors include Caregiver Action Network, Carers Australia, Carers Canada, Carers UK, Carers Worldwide, Eurocarers, National Alliance for Caregiving, International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO) and Shanghai Roots & Shoots, China.

About EMD Serono

EMD Serono - the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in the U.S. and Canada – is engaged in the discovery, research and development of medicines for patients with difficult to treat diseases. The business is committed to transforming lives by developing and delivering meaningful solutions that help address the therapeutic and support needs of individual patients. Building on a proven legacy and deep expertise in neurology, fertility and endocrinology, EMD Serono is developing potential new oncology and immuno-oncology medicines while continuing to explore potential therapeutic options for diseases such as psoriasis, lupus and multiple sclerosis. Today, the business has approximately 1,500 employees around the country with commercial, clinical and research operations based in the company's home state of Massachusetts.

About the Embracing Carers International Survey

The Embracing Carers online survey was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of EMD Serono. It questioned 3,516 unpaid caregivers aged 18-75 years including 2,106 respondents aged 35-55 in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and the US between 27 July and 8 August, 2017.

 About the International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO)

Incorporated in 2012, the International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO) is a global coalition of 15-member nations committed to building a global understanding and respect for the vital role of family caregivers. Recognized as an official NGO by the United Nations, IACO  works to improve the quality of life and support the needs of caregivers, through international partnerships and advocacy that strengthens and honors the voice of caregivers. To learn more, visit

[1] Embracing Carers International Survey. Censuswide 27 July – 8 August, 2017

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