Company Overview Visit merck.com website
Merck is an international pharmaceutical and chemical company. It was established in 1668 by the apothecary, Emmanuel Merck, as a chemical-pharmaceutical factory. In 1891, after the death of its CEO Emil von Behring, it changed its focus from producing chemicals to generic medicines. Its first major drug was aspirin. The company's headquarters are located in Kenilworth, New Jersey.
In 2000, Merck & Co Inc merged with the pharmaceutical department of Schering Plough Corporation and formed a new group – Merck Serono . They used to be one unit called MSD outside USA and Canada – abbreviated from their previous name of 'Merck Sharp and Dohme'. This makes them one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
Merck is currently active in Asia, Australia and sub-Saharan Africa. They are working on developing drugs for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis among others. Their most popular product is Gardasil which prevents cervical cancer caused by certain types of HPV virus.
Merck focus nowadays is to cure major illnesses like heart disease, cancer and HIV AIDS through vaccines. Clinical trials are ongoing with promising vaccines for prostate cancer, lung cancer, heart disease etc. For this they have no problem to recruit volunteers and patients into their studies since people always seek cures for life-threatening illness that don't exist yet or that previous treatments weren't effective enough against them. It also prevents diseases before you can get sick from them – a vaccine is given to healthy people not sick ones.