Drug Company Merck has an incredibly rich history, which is not surprising given that Merck is the oldest pharmaceutical company in the world. Nearly 350 years old, Merck dates back to 1668 in Germany, when Friedrich Merck acquired the Angel Pharmacy, still owned by the Merck family today.

Merck History

During the 1660’s, pharmacists heavily relied upon the practice of compounding their drugs, a practice that is making a resurgence in the United States of America today. While many of the compounds involved natural ingredients, the formulations and measurements were not precise and the regulation on how to handle them was inconsistent.

Increased regulation came at the turn of the 18th century, which was a valuable move for pharmacies as it helped to strengthen their reputation on the whole, thus improving profits. In the 1820’s Merck first branched out of Germany and established itself in other cities in Europe. By 1900, the company had set up branches or business relationships on every continent. Prior to that in 1891, the first American branch was set up in New York under the name Merck & Co.

Merck Operations

In modern years, Merck’s basis for product development and marketing has been research. Specifically, research into oncology treatments began in the mid 1980’s and has continued since that time. Merck also dove into research and development into medicines and pharmaceuticals for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

One of Merck’s best known developments was an active ingredient used in the treatment of colorectal cancer. Merck licensed the rights to market and develop the ingredient outside of the United States and Canada in 1998. In Japan, Merck shares the exclusive marketing rights with two other companies and to this day, the ingredient is amongst the most successful products in the field of oncology medicine in Europe.

Merck sold its generics business to a US company, allowing for better research and focus on specialized ventures in chemicals, pharmaceuticals and more.

Merck Vision

Merck focuses on providing good products by funding highly specialised therapeutic treatments, products and health protection. There is a division that is focused on over the counter pharmaceuticals, another on specialty areas such as oncology, fertility and endocrinology, a third division dedicated to innovative products in lighting, plastics and cosmetics, and a fourth division that fosters an environment for scientists to conduct life science research for the good worldwide.

Merck has worked hard to develop groundbreaking products that improve animal and human health to include a wide range of antibiotics and vaccines. Because of a rich past and centuries of learning and development, Merck is focused on using its wealth of knowledge towards research and creating a better, healthier future for people around the world.

Key Facts

Merck stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 1995. Merck presently has companies in 67 countries around the world and employs more than 83,000 people. The company’s revenues were reported at over $11 billion Euros last year. The headquarters office is located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey.



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