is a subsidiary
of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer
. Although no longer an independent
corporation, it was once America's oldest and largest drug maker,
and played an important role in medical history.
Parke-Davis originally was founded in
Michigan by Dr.
Building on the Parke-Davis Plant
campus in Detroit
Duffield, a physician and pharmacist. A
partnership of Dr. Duffield and Hervey Coke Parke was formed in
1866, with George S. Davis becoming a third partner in 1867.
Duffield withdrew in 1869, and the name Parke, Davis & Company
was formally adopted in 1871, being incorporated in 1875. It was
once the world's largest pharmaceutical company
, and is
credited with building the first modern pharmaceutical laboratory
and developing the first systematic methods of performing clinical trials
of new medications.
Research Laboratory is a National
Historic Landmark; the surrounding Parke-Davis and Company Pharmaceutical
Company Plant is on the National Register of
Parke-Davis was acquired by Warner-Lambert
in 1970, which in turn was
bought by Pfizer
One of Parke-Davis' early products was an amylase
isolated from Aspergillus oryzae
by Dr. Jokichi Takamine
. The enzyme was originally
intended for use in distilleries
was more successfully marketed as "Taka-diastase" for dyspepsia
. They also developed Ketalar (ketamine
hydrochloride), a general anesthetic and dissociative drug, in
In addition, Parke-Davis distributed Coley's toxins, the first
cancer vaccine, which was developed by William Coley to treat
osteosarcoma. In addition, the company entered into a distribution
agreement with the Inoculation Department of St Mary's (London) and
distributed a number of vaccines for infectious diseases and even
acne and cancer.
Another of the company's products developed by Takamine was a pure
form of adrenaline. The compound was patented in 1900 and
trademarked as "Adrenalin". Because of the similarity of this name
to "Adrenaline", the use of the alternative name "epinephrine" for
generics was mandated in the United States and is used to this day.
A lawsuit filed by H.K. Mulford challenged the patent on the
grounds that it was a natural product and therefore unpatentable.
The ruling in favor of Parke-Davis by judge Learned Hand
is considered crucial to modern
Before the criminalization of cocaine, the drug was sold by
Parke-Davis in various forms, including cigarettes, powder, and
even a cocaine mixture that could be injected directly into the
user’s veins with the included needle. The company promised that
its cocaine products would “supply the place of food, make the
coward brave, the silent eloquent and ... render the sufferer
insensitive to pain.
(PCP) was first patented
in the 1950s by the Parke-Davis pharmaceutical company. PCP is
listed as a Schedule II drug in the United States under the
Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
Parke-Davis marketed the first widely available epilepsy
, which was approved in 1939, although it
discovered neither the compound nor the application on its
The first bacterial vaccine
was developed by
Parke-Davis, and the company was thus known as a pioneer in the
field of Vaccinology
. It was also among
the five firms contracted to manufacture the Salk vaccine
A combination of the DPT
and polio vaccines, called Quadrigen
, was developed in 1954 and approved in
1959. Quadrigen was later removed from the market in 1968 after a
series of lawsuits pertaining to adverse effects in vaccinated
Other products popularized by the company included anti-infectives
and brands of combined oral contraceptive
In the case of Franklin v. Parke-Davis
company was accused of illegal marketing
practices, including the promotion of off-label
uses of its anticonvulsant
. The drug had only
been approved for use in patients with epilepsy
, but in 2001 over 80% of its $1.8 billion
in sales were for indications unapproved by the United States
. In 2004, Pfizer "admitted that Parke-Davis
aggressively marketed Neurontin by illicit means for unrelated
conditions including bipolar disorder, pain, migraine headaches,
and drug and alcohol withdrawal
and consented to $430 million dollars in penalties although it
claimed the violations originated in 1996, well before Pfizer's
acquisition of Warner-Lambert.
As announced on January 22, 2007, Pfizer closed its research
facilities in Ann Arbor, MI.
Actor Calvert DeForest
appeared multiple times with David
, worked for the company for many years.
- Exploring Our History: 2000 - Pfizer acquires
Warner-Lambert. from Pfizer corporate website. Accessed May 19,
- Bennett, Joan and Yamomoto, Yutaka. Dr. Jokichi
Takamine: Japanese father of American Biotechnology.
- [Flemming, The Penecillin Man, by Kevin
- A Flaw in the System.
remarkablemedicine.com Accessed May 16, 2006.
- Bayly, M. Beddow. The Story of the Salk Anti-Poliomyelitis
- Suit: Neurontin Marketed Illegally for Bipolar
Disorder. About.com. May 16, 2004.
- Huge penalty in drug fraud Pfizer settles felony
case in Neurontin off-label promotion. San Francisco Chronicle.
Friday, May 14, 2004.
- At Pfizer, Brutal Cuts And Big Changes