- 1 Basic Information
- 1.1 HQ Contact information
- 1.2 Country of incorporation
- 1.3 Ownership status
- 1.4 Primary industry sector
- 1.5 Primary industry ranking
- 1.6 Number of employees worldwide
- 1.7 Chief executive officer
- 1.8 Financial information
- 2 Company history
- 3 Detailed information
- 3.1 Business scope
- 3.2 Geographic scope
- 3.3 Governance
- 4 Corporate accountability
- 5 Political & public influence
- 6 Articles and resources
- 7 External resources
HQ Contact information
1 Merck Dr.
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889
Country of incorporation
United States (Delaware)
Primary industry sector
- Human Health
- Vaccine Segment
- Pharmaceutical Segment
- Animal Health
Primary industry ranking
- Fortune 500: 95 
- Fortune Pharmaceutical Rank: 4
- Forbes Global 2000 Profit Rank: 100
Number of employees worldwide
Chief executive officer
Richard T. Clark, 61
Merck's largest institutional shareholders, as of June 30, 2007. 
- Capital Research and Management, 6.06%
- FMR Corporation, 5.26%
- Barclays Global Investors, 3.36%
- AXA, 3.29%
- State Street Coporation, 3.13%
- Vanguard Group, 2.87%
- Franklin Resources, 2.24%
- JP Morgan Chase, 1.85%
Revenue and income
Merck's 2006 revenues were:
- Overall: $22,636,000,000
- By Division:
- Pharmaceuticals: $20,374,800,000
- Vaccines: $1,705,500,000
2006 Net Income:
Merck & Co. traces its origins to Friedrich Jacob Merck who purchased a drug store in Darmstadt in 1668; and Emanuel Merck who took over the store several generations later, in 1816. Emanuel and his successors gradually built up a chemical-pharmaceutical factory that produced — in addition to raw materials for pharmaceutical preparations — a multitude of other chemicals.
In 1887, George Merck set up Merck & Co. in New York as the US arm of the family partnership, Merck & Co. was confiscated in 1917, under the Alien Property Act and administered by a custodian appointed by the federal government. In 1919, George Merck bought the company back from the Alien Property Custodian and registered it as an independent American company. By 1933the company had built their first lab and moved into the discovery and manufacture of vitamins. By 1945, Merck was the largest US producer of vitamins, with sales of $35 million.
Merck received its most significant breakthrough when Dr. Waksman, who had developed Streptomycin at nearby Rutgers, decided to license the product to Merck. That same year, their own R+D unit discovered cortisone, which Merck, still lacking a sales force, then licensed to other pharmaceutical firms to sell. In 1953, Merck merged with Sharp& Dohme primarily to acquire their talented sales force and to begin competing with other, vertically-integrated, pharmaceutical companies.
Today, the US company has about 61,500 employees in 120 countries and 31 factories worldwide. It is one of the top 7 pharmaceutical companies worldwide, much larger than its German ancestor, which currently employs around 28,600 people in 54 countries.
In 2005, CEO Raymond Gilmartin retired at the age of 64 following Merck's voluntary worldwide withdrawal of Vioxx. Former president of manufacturing Richard Clark was named CEO and President of the company.
As of February 2007, Merck had seen 14 Vioxx-related cases through trial, 4 cases were decided for the plaintiffs, 7 were decided for Merck, one was decided for Merck then overturned by the judge, one was declared a mistrial then decided for Merck, and one was declared a mistrial after the jury deadlocked.
Lines of business
- Pharmaceutical Preparations
2006, by revenue(millions):
- Singulair, $3,579
- Cozaar $3,163
- Fosamax $3,134
- Zocor, $2,802
- Primaxin $704.8
- Cosopt $697.1
- Proscar $618.5
- Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) – a combination cholesterol-lowering preparation marketed in collaboration with Schering-Plough.
- Zetia (ezetimibe) - cholesterol absorption inhibitor - lowers LDL
- Zocor (simvastatin) – a cholesterol-lowering statin.
- Propecia/Proscar (finasteride) – used for alopecia (male pattern baldness) and prostate|prostatic conditions.
- Emen (aprepitant) – treats vomiting and nausea brought about by chemotherapy.
- Fosamax (alendronate) – osteroporosis medication.
- Fosamax Plus D (alendronate/Vitamin D) – osteroporosis medication.
- Singulair (montelukast) – an asthma medication that blocks leukotrienes.
- Crixivan (indinavir) – a protease inhibitor HIV medication.
- Maxalt (rizatriptan) one of many triptans used to treat migraines.
- Cozaar/Hyzaar - used to treat hypertension and to reduce the risk of strokes
- Cosopt - reduces intraocular pressure in people with glaucoma or ocular hypertension.
- Invanz - an injectable antibiotic (Carbapenem) used for those with diabetic foot infections.
- Primaxin (imipenem with cilastatin) – a broad spectrum carbapenem antibiotic.
- Gardasil - a vaccine against HPV, the sexually transmitted disease that is the most common cause of cervical cancer.
- Zostavax - a vaccine for prevention of shingles in adults older than 60 years of age.
- Rotateq - a vaccine to prevent rotavirus gastroenteritis, a leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and young children.
- MMRV vaccine|ProQuad]] - a vaccine for simultaneous vaccination against measles,mumps, rubella, and varicella in children.
- Mectizan/Stromectol (ivermectin) - used to treat river blindness.
- Zolinza (Vorinostat) - a histone deacetylase inhibitor for the treatment of cutaneous T cell lymphoma.
- Januvia (sitagliptin) - a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors|dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor for the treatment of diabetes
- Arcoxia (etoricoxib) - for the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis (not approved in the US, but approved and sold in Europe, Latin America, the Asia-Pacific region and Middle East/Northern Africa)
- Isentress (raltegravir) - HIV integrase inhibitor.
Countries of operation
Breakdown of revenue
By Year (millions)
- 2006: $22,636
- 2005: $22,011.9
- 2004: $22,938.6
- 2003: $22,485.9
- USA: 61%
- International: 39%
- USA: 58%
- International: 42%
By Product Category (millions):
- Pharmaceuticals: $20,374.8
- Vaccines: $1,705.5
- Other: $555.7
Breakdown of profits
By Year (millions)
- 2006: $4,433.8
- 2005: $4,631.3
- 2004: $5,830.1
- 2003: $6,875
By Year (millions):
- 2006: $8,165.4
- 2005: $7,155.5
- 2004: $7238.7
Research and Development Costs
By Year (millions):
- 2006: $4,782.9
- 2005: $3,848
- 2004: $4,010.2
Breakdown of employees
- 2006: 60,000
- 2005: 61,500
- 2004: 62,600
- 2003: 63,200
- 2002: 77,300
Board members & affiliations
- Richard T. Clark, CEO Merck
- Paul A. Friedman, CEO Incyte
- Raymond V. Gilmartin, CEO Merck (1994-2005)
- Robert A. Ingram, GlaxoSmithKline
- Judy C. Lewent, CFO Merck
- Myrtle Potter, COO Genentech(2000-2004)
- Bradley T. Sheares, CEO Reliant Pharmaceuticals
- John L. Zabriskie, CEO Pharmacia& Upjohn (1995-97)
- Larry Bossidy, CEO Honeywell
- William B. Harrison, CEO JPMorgan Chase
- Rochelle Lazarus, CEO Ogilvy & Mather
- Anne M. Tatlock, CEO Fiduciary Trust (1999-2006)
- Wendell P. Weeks, CEO Corning
Richard T. Clark, $10,296,840 
Date & venue of next AGM
Human Rights Campaign 2006 Equality Index: 100
Named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers for 2006 by Working Mother Magazine
2006: 60,000 worldwide
- 21% are represented by collective bargaining groups
- 7,000 jobs to be eliminated by the end of 2008
- Intend to close 5 of the 31 manufacturing facilities and 2 preclinical sites.
Environment & product safety
Anti-trust, consumer protection, tax practices
Social responsibility initiatives
- United States
- Merck established one of the first "Patient Assistance Programs" in the US almost 50 years ago. This program provides Merck-manufactured drugs free of charge to uninsured individuals earning less than $19,140 a year, or famillies earning less than $38,700(for a family of four). In 2004, according to Merck, this program filled 6.69 million free prescriptions in the US.
- Merck Frosst, the Canadian subsidiary of Merck, offers a similar patient assistance program.
- Merck Vaccine Network
- Mectizan Donation Program
- Begun in 1987, this is Merck's well-known program to donate Mectizan, a cure for river-blindness, for free to all who need it. Working with the WHO, World Bank, and UNICEF they established an extensive infrastructure in Africa, Latin America, and Yemen to distribute the drug effectively. As of 1998, they estimate that 350 million treatments have been administered.
- HIV/AIDS Pricing Policy
- Merck claims to make no profit on the sale of its current HIV/AIDS medications in "the world's poorest countries and those hardest hi by the pandemic." In 2001, they reduced prices for CRIXIVAN and STORCIN using the UN's Human Development Index(HDI) and HIV prevalence data reported by UNAIDS.
- Botswana/Gates/Merck Partnership
- In 2000, Merck donated $50 million dollars and its two anti-retroviral medications to Botswana's ARV program, named "Masa." This is a joint partnership with the government of Botswana and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Political & public influence
Amount by year:
- 2004: $3,560,000
- 2005: $3,680,000
- 2006: $4,050,000
Lobbyists by Issue:
- Consumer Product Safety: 4
- Trade: 2
- Taxes: 1
- Medicare & Medicaid: 6
- Health Issues: 5
- Consumer Product Safety: 4
- Trade: 2
- Medicare & Medicaid: 8
- Health Issues: 7
- Taxes: 6
- Federal Budget: 1
Articles and resources
- Profile of Merck, Yahoo! Finance. Captured on November 19, 2007.
- Merck 10-K, filed 2/28/2007
- http://www.secinfo.com/dsvr4.u2R9.htm Merck 10-K, filed 2/28/2007
- http://yahoo.brand.edgar-online.com/fetchFilingFrameset.aspx?dcn=0000950123-07-002918&Type=HTML Merck 10-K, 2/28/2007
- Working Mother Magazine
- Merck Annual CSR Report
Related SourceWatch articles
- crisis management
- Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide
- Pharmaceutical industry
- Using celebrities
- Women in Government
Merck Profile, Hoovers, accessed November 2007]
Books on Merck
Galambos, Louis, “Networks of Innovation: Vaccine Development at Merck, Sharp & Dohme, and Mulford, 1895-1995”, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Hawthorne, Fran, “The Merck Druggernaut: The Inside Story of a Pharmaceutical Giant”, J Wiley & Sons, 2003.
Vagelos, Roy, “The Moral Corporation: Merck Experiences”, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Vagelos, Roy, “Medicine, Science, and Merck”, Cambridge University Press, 2004.