Sharp & Dohme’s Medical Products Sign AP568 SOLD

Sharp & Dohme’s Medical Products sign. Very clean, framed. 26w x 13h.


Price on request.

Until the late 1920s, Sharp & Dohme had an extremely effective distribution network but very little in the way of research organization. After the company merged with H. K. Mulford & Co. in 1929, Sharp & Dohme acquired a biological laboratory, which it used to research and develop new vaccines and antitoxins. Between 1935 and 1952, Sharp & Dohme’s executives worked on developing the company’s research and development organization beyond biologicals, and pursued research on sulfonamides and new formulations of penicillin, and on the development of synthetic blood products. Despite the expansion of Sharp & Dohme’s research organization during the late 1930s and 1940s and the opening of its new research facilities in West Point, Pennsylvania, in 1952, the company lacked “an in-house level of scientific expertise” high enough to take full advantage of new developments in virology, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, and pharmaceutical science more generally.

For these reasons, the executives of both firms regarded the merger of Sharp & Dohme and Merck & Co. in May 1953 as mutually beneficial. While Merck acquired expanded marketing capacities, Sharp & Dohme merged with one of the most innovative research organizations in the industry. Although both of the companies recognized the value of – and indeed, need for – the merger, the consolidation of the two companies took several years to complete and was characterized by tense relations between Sharp & Dohme, located in West Point, Pennsylvania, and Merck & Co., located in Rahway, New Jersey.

Excerpt from Tobbell’s┬áPills, Power, and Policy: The Struggle for Drug Reform in Cold War America and its Consequences, (2012, pp. 28-29).