MSD's 125th anniversary

In 2016, MSD celebrated its 125th anniversary as a global health care leader. We created this page as a celebration of our accomplishments as well as to highlight what we're excited about for the years to come.

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 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.


We are guided by a rich legacy and inspired by a shared vision to improve the health and well-being of people around the world. We are fortunate to have had many pioneers lead the way for MSD over the last 125 years. Business leaders including our founder George Merck, and his son, late and former president George W. Merck, well-known for his "medicine is for the people" speech, laid the groundwork for the company we are today.

And then there are our legendary scientists — among them, Maurice Hilleman and Bill Campbell, who each spent more than 25 years with MSD, and whose impact on public health is unmatched and undeniable.

At his death, The New York Times said that Dr. Hilleman "is credited with having developed more human and animal vaccines than any other scientist, helping to extend human life expectancy and improving the economies of many countries."

And, recently heralded with the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, there is Dr. Campbell who, together with Dr. Mohammed Aziz and others, championed the discovery and development of a treatment for river blindness that is being distributed throughout the world still today.

These are among countless examples of people at MSD who have achieved immeasurable success and the many more to come.


MSD has also had a long history of leading the way in corporate responsibility, including our Mectizan Donation Program, through which we have donated more than one billion treatments in areas affected by river blindness. Now, three countries have been verified as free of river blindness by the World Health Organization.

Today, we are also making important strides in the fight against maternal mortality through MSD for Mothers, a long-term effort that aims to create a world where no woman has to die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth.


"In part because of MSD, the world today is a healthier, stronger and more hopeful world," said MSD Chairman and CEO Ken Frazier. "And our future will be even better — because of our people, our partners and our unwavering commitment to finding new ways, every day, to meet unmet medical needs."

Ken Frazier
Chairman and CEO, MSD

Our goal as a premier biopharmaceutical company is to build on this remarkable legacy of invention and scientific discovery. But, in our desire to continue to invent medicines that will improve the lives of more and more people around the world, we see MSD as more than a biopharmaceutical company: we are people on a quest to cure.