1851 Dr. Ernst Christian Friedrich Schering

    Dr. Ernst Christian Friedrich Schering begins developing and selling pharmaceutical products in Berlin. Three years later, the company opens its first production facility.


    1885 Board of Directors

    Ernst Schering, centre, with the board of directors of Schering AG circa 1885. The company was incorporated in 1871.


    1891 Establishing Merck & Co., Inc.

    Leaving Darmstadt, Germany, George Merck arrives in New York and establishes Merck & Co., Inc.


    1899 The MSD Manual

    The MSD Manual begins publication, providing professionals with the best available medical knowledge of the day.


    1933 George W. Merck

    The founder’s son, George W. Merck, launches major new research laboratories in Rahway, New Jersey, soon leading to breakthroughs in vitamins, antibiotics, and anesthetics.


    1942 Penalev

    MSD’s penicillin “G” (Penalev) is used in the first successful treatment of blood infection with penicillin in the U.S. Ramping up production for the war earns the company the Army-Navy “E” Award for excellence in manufacturing.


    1944 Streptomycin

    In collaboration with MSD, Dr. Selman Waksman of Rutgers University produces streptomycin, the world’s first cure for tuberculosis. The company waives the patent rights.


    1953 Merck, Sharp & Dohme

    The merger with Sharp & Dohme brings to the company important new expertise in biologicals and vaccine research, and global distribution.


    1955 Prednisone and Prednisolone

    Dr. E.B. Hershberg, standing top right, leads the team that synthesizes prednisone and prednisolone. These “Meti” drugs fuel Schering’s second big wave of growth in the mid-1950s.


    1957 The Foundation

    A company foundation is created to manage the corporation’s growing philanthropic endeavours.


    1958 Diuril

    Diuril (chlorothiazide) is launched for congestive heart failure and high blood pressure – the first major product in the company’s new cardiovascular line.


    1971 M-M-R II

    In 1971 M-M-R II (measles, mumps, and rubella virus vaccine, live) is launched in an innovative combined form.


    1985 Primaxin

    Considered the most complex drug synthesis process of the time, the broad-spectrum antibiotic Primaxin is launched.


    1986 Recombivax HB

    Recombivax HB (hepatitis B vaccine, recombinant) is launched – the first genetically engineered vaccine approved for humans, and the first to prevent cancer.


    1987 Mectizan

    Mectizan (ivermectin) is developed for river blindness and distributed free to all who need it. Since then, the company has donated 2.5 million tablets (estimated value of $3.75 billion).


    1996 Crixivan

    Following a decade of intensive research, Crixivan (indinavir sulfate) is approved for treating HIV in just 45 days – one of the fastest FDA reviews to date.


    2005 Plan to Win

    CEO and President Dick Clark launches the ”Plan to Win” to address challenges and transform the company into a leader in the pharmaceutical industry.


    2006 Gardasil [Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16, and 18) Vaccine, Recombinant]

    In 2006 Gardasil [Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16, and 18) Vaccine, Recombinant] becomes the first vaccine to prevent cervical cancer (the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among women worldwide).


    2009 Kenneth C. Frazier, CEO

    Kenneth C. Frazier, the company’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, leads the company into a new era of global healthcare.


    2011 MSD for Mothers

    The company launches the 10-year MSD for Mothers initiative, a global effort to bring the issue of maternal mortality to the forefront of global consciousness.


    2012 Mectizan at 25

    The Mectizan Donation Program celebrates its 25th anniversary.


    2015 Early Access to Medicines Scheme

    MSD’s innovative treatment for advanced melanoma was the first drug to be made available through the government’s Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS) - helping patients benefit from promising, innovative treatments in advance of a European licence being granted.


125 years of finding a new way, every day, to help the world be well.

2016 marked our 125th anniversary as a global healthcare leader.

This is an exciting time for our company and the world. Today, we are at the forefront of inventing tools for the fight against some of the world's most urgent global health challenges. This includes more than 30 different cancers, hepatitis C, Alzheimer’s disease, Ebola, antibiotic-resistant “superbugs,” cardio-metabolic diseases, and many others.

Since our inception in 1891, MSD has pushed the boundaries of science with the hope and expectation that advancing scientific knowledge will lead to major advances in health. MSD has changed the world repeatedly through our history – from the development of the first vaccines for measles and mumps and the first vaccine for HPV, an infection that causes cervical and other cancers, to the development of ground-breaking medicines for heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, tuberculosis, HIV and melanoma, just to name a few.