Schering-Plough Corporation

Schering-Plough Corporation was a pharmaceutical company based in the United States. It was founded in 1851 by Ernst Christian Friedrich Schering as Schering AG in Germany. In 1971, the Schering Corporation merged with Plough (founded by Memphis area entrepreneur Abe Plough in 1908 [1]) to form Schering-Plough. On November 4, 2009 Merck & Co. was merged with Schering-Plough with the new company taking the name of Merck & Co.

Schering-Plough manufactured several pharmaceutical drugs, the most well-known of which were the allergy drugs Claritin and Clarinex, and through a collaboration with Merck & Co., Vytorin, an anti-cholesterol drug. These are now available from Merck & Co.[2]

Schering Plough also owned and operated the major foot care brand name Dr. Scholl's and the skin care line Coppertone. These also became a part of the new company.[3]

, Schering-Plough had 1.4% market share in the U.S., placing it seventeenth in the top twenty pharmaceutical corporations by sales compiled by IMS Health.

Schering-Plough was a full member of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA),[4] a membership which is also maintained by the new Merck.[5]


Pharmaceuticals and consumer products

Schering was founded in 1851 by Ernst Christian Friedrich Schering as Schering AG in Germany.

Following the entry of the United States into World War II in 1941, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ordered Schering AG's U.S. assets be seized. These became the Schering Corporation. The company was placed under a government administratorship until 1952, when it was released and its assets sold to the private sector.

Plough, Incorporated was founded by the Memphis, Tennessee area entrepreneur Abe Plough in 1908 He borrowed $125 from his father to start the business at age sixteen. As a one man business, he mixed "Plough's Antiseptic Healing Oil," a "sure cure for any ill of man or beast," and sold it off a horse-drawn buggy.[1] He grew the company through sound management and innovative strategies, with marketing genius.

Plough's acquisitions included St Joseph's Aspirin for children,[1] Maybelline cosmetics, and Coppertone skin care products. Plough also had a broadcasting division, operating radio stations in Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; and Memphis, Tennessee.[6]

In 1971, the Schering Corporation merged with Plough, Inc. At the time of the merger, Abe Plough became Chairman of the combined company.[7]

In 2000, Schering Plough bought a new campus in Summit, New Jersey from Novartis. The company planned to make this location its second-largest corporate complex in the world after completion of its current $20 million renovation.

Schering-Plough was named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers in 2004 and 2005 by Working Mothers magazine.

On March 9, 2009 it was announced that Schering-Plough and Merck were to merge. On November 4, 2009 Schering-Plough merged with Merck & Co. and through a reverse merger Merck became a subsidiary of Schering-Plough, which renamed itself Merck.[8][9][10][11]

Animal health

One of Schering-Plough's plants, in Upper Hutt, New Zealand was the largest single site for the production of veterinary vaccines in the world. This was largely due to the fact that New Zealand's isolation has formed a natural quarantine, leaving the country free of rabies, foot and mouth, scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and many other livestock diseases. It formerly had echinococcosis, but this has been eradicated. The site was known locally as "Coopers Animal Health," a trademark which was still in use by Schering-Plough in Australia, but not elsewhere.

On 12 March 2007, Schering-Plough Corp. purchased Organon International, the drug unit of Netherlands-based Akzo Nobel, for $14.4 billion, giving the US pharmaceutical company an array of women's health products and numerous late-stage pipelines of experimental medicines.[12]

Organon was founded in 1923 by Dr. Saal van Zwanenberg, the president of Zwanenberg’s Slachterijen en Fabrieken. The company is housed at Zwanenberg’s premises in Oss, the Netherlands..[13] By August 21, 2008, Famvir (famciclovir) was marketed by Schering-Plough; formerly it was marketed by Novartis.

As a result of the acquisition of Organon BioSciences, Schering-Plough bolstered its animal health business with the Akzo Nobel subsidiary Intervet, obtained control of the active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturer, Diosynth and gained access to human vaccine production through the subsidiary Nobilon. The three companies comprising Organon BioSciences were--Organon, Diosynth, and Intervet.[12]

After the merger of Schering-Plough with Merck the animal health division was still known as Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health.[14]

Chief executives

Name Tenure
Willibald H. Cozen 1971 – 1979
Richard J. Bennett 1979 – January 31, 1982
Robert P. Luciano February 1, 1982 – December 31, 1995
Richard J. Kogan January 1, 1996 – April 2003
Fred Hassan April 2003 – November 3, 2009

Prescription products

Over-the-counter products

Veterinary products

Exercise drug

Schering-Plough also received much publicity for a drug AICAR which mimics the effects of exercise, having especially potent effects when used alongside another drug GW1516 developed by GlaxoSmithKline.

Collaborative research

In addition to internal research and development activities Schering-Plough was also involved in publicly funded collaborative research projects, with other industrial and academic partners. One example in the area of non-clinical safety assessment was the InnoMed PredTox.[26][27]


In 2004, Schering-Plough was accused of marketing gimmicks and payoffs to doctors for prescribing the company's pharmaceutical products.[28]

Schering-Plough entered into a Consent Decree with the FDA on March 6, 2002 due to manufacturing issues with its albuterol inhaler. It was ordered to pay $500 Million US dollars to the US Treasury.


  1. a b c "Abe Plough (1892-1984)," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, on line.
  2. . Retrieved November 10, 2010. 
  3. . Retrieved November 10, 2010. 
  4. . European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). pp. 49. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  5. . Retrieved November 8, 2010. 
  6. Toledo Blade September 15, 1984-Abe Plough (Obituary)
  7. Hoover's Profile: Schering-Plough Corporation
  8. Singer, Natasha (March 10, 2009). . The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  9. Merck & Co. (November 3, 2009). . Press release. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  10. Merck & Co. (November 4, 2009). . Press release. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  11. Merck & Company, Inc. (November 12, 2009). (PDF). Posted on Thomson Reuters web site. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  12. a b . Medical Net News. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  13. . Organon. Archived from on 9 December 2006. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  14. . Retrieved November 10, 2010. 
  15. Gupta SK, Ellinwood EH (June 1988). (PDF). Pharm. Res. 5 (6): 365–8. . . 
  16. . Intervet USA. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  17. . Intervet USA. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  18. . Intervet USA. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  19. . Intervet USA. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  20. . Intervet USA. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  21. . Intervet USA. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  22. . Intervet USA. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  23. . Intervet USA. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  24. . Intervet USA. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  25. . Intervet USA. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  26. Mattes WB (2008), Public consortium efforts in toxicogenomics, Methods Mol Biol. 2008;460:221-38
  27. . Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  28. Gardiner Harris, "As Doctors Write Prescriptions, Drug Company Writes a Check", New York Times (June 27, 2004)