Merck Company

E. Merck & Son was founded as a chemical manufacturer in Germany by an apothecary named Jacob Freidrich Merck. In 1654, Merck purchased the Angel Pharmacy, located near Schiller Platz in Darmstadt, Germany and began trading fine chemicals.

Most popular was laudanum, an alcoholic solution of opium, which was in every physician’s medicine chest and used as a ‘panacea’ for many illnesses.

Merck established a new factory and began drug production in 1827. The first product made at Merck’s new factory was morphine. Codeine production began in 1832, followed by quinine production in 1833.

The company established in United States in 1891 under the direction of George Merck.  Merck discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines in more than 20 therapeutics categories.

Since the 1930s, the company’s R&D had acquired a substantial reputation for cutting edge research in organic chemistry.

Merck merged in 1953 with Sharp & Dohme, a pharmaceutical company with major capabilities in marketing to US physicians and hospitals. This merger enabled Merck to acquire an even larger market share in the United States and abroad.

A merger with Schering-Plough increased the number of employees from 73,000 in 2008 to the 100,000 figure at the end of 2009.

Nowadays, the original E. Merck & CO. still exists in Darmstadt but with the name Merck KGaA.

However, in terms of capital, influence and fame, Merck KGaA is decisively dwarfed by Merck & Co., formerly a unit of the German based E. Merck and now an independent company.
Merck Company

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