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Wyeth, formerly known as American Home Products (AHP), was one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. The company is based in Madisonmarker, New Jerseymarker, USAmarker. They are known for manufacturing the over-the-counter drug Robitussin and the analgesic Advil (ibuprofen), as well as the prescription drugs Premarin and Effexor, which both boast over US$3 billion in sales annually.

On January 23, 2009 The Wall Street Journal reported that Pfizer was in talks to buy Wyeth at a cost around US$68 billion. On January 25, Pfizer agreed to the purchase, a deal financed with cash, shares and loans. The deal was completed on October 15, 2009.



In 1860, pharmacists John and Frank Wyeth opened a drugstore with a small research lab on Walnut Street in Philadelphia. In 1862, on the suggestion of doctors, they began to manufacture large quantities of commonly ordered medicines. They were successful, and in 1864 they began supplying medicines and beef extract to the Union army during the Civil War.

In 1872, Henry Bower, an employee of Wyeth, developed one of the first rotary compressed tablet machines in the United Statesmarker. This enabled the mass production of medicines with unprecedented precision and speed. It was massively successful, and the Wyeth brothers won multiple awards at the Centennial Exhibition. In 1883, Wyeth opened its first international facility in Montrealmarker, Canadamarker and began vaccine production. Six years later, a fire destroyed the brothers' original Walnut Street store; the brothers sold the retail business and began focusing on mass-production.


John Wyeth died in 1907 and his only son, Stuart, became the company's president. American Home Products, the holding company now known as Wyeth, was incorporated on February 4, 1926. The Whitehall building in downtown Manhattanmarker became the corporation's first headquarters. Global sales became stronger due to the sales of Wyeth's Kolynos brand of toothpaste. In 1929, Stuart Wyeth died and left controlling interest to Harvard Universitymarker.


In 1930, Wyeth purchased Anacin, a product for tension headaches which quickly became the company's flagship product. One year later, Harvard sold Wyeth to American Home Products for US$2.9 million.

In 1935, Alvin G. Brush, a Certified Public Accountant, became CEO of the entire organization and would serve for thirty years. Under Brush's leadership, 34 new companies were acquired in the next fifteen years, including Chef Boyardee and the S.M.A. Corporation, a pharmaceutical firm specializing in innovative infant formulas. Wyeth also made its first licensing deal, acquiring an antibiotic for arthritis vaccine research.

In 1941, the United States entered World War II, and Wyeth shipped typical wartime drugs such as sulfa bacteriostatics, blood plasma, typhus vaccine, quinine, and atabrine tablets. Wyeth was later rewarded for its contribution to the war effort. During this time, Wyeth launched its penicillin research facility with G. Raymond Rettew.

In 1943, Wyeth purchased G. Washington Coffee Refining Company, an instant coffee company created by George Washington.

In 1943, Wyeth merged with Ayerst, McKenna and Harrison, Ltd. of Canada. With this merger came Premarin, the world's first conjugated estrogen medicine, which to this day is one of Wyeth's flagship products. Wyeth was one of 22 companies selected by the government in 1944 to manufacture penicillin for the military, and later for the general public.

In 1945, Wyeth acquired the Fort Dodge Serum Company, thus entering the animal health field, in which they are still active to this day.


In 1951, Wyeth launched Antabuse, a drug for the treatment of alcoholism, as well as the antihistamine Phenergan. Ansolyen was launched the next year as a high blood pressure medication. The anticonvulsant Mysoline was introduced in 1954. Other drugs introduced during this time include Isordil, a vasodilator for treatment of angina, Dryvax, a freeze-dried smallpox vaccine, and Ovral, a combined oral contraceptive pill. Pharmaceuticals were generating an ever-increasing percentage of Wyeth's sales.

Wyeth became a leading US vaccine producer after supplying polio vaccine for Salk trials. The corporate headquarters were moved to Radnor, Pennsylvania, where they remained until 2003. William F. Laporte became the Chairman and President of AHP in 1965, and served until 1981.

The World Health Organization initiated the Global Smallpox Eradication Program in 1967, and approached Wyeth to develop a better injection system for smallpox vaccines which could be used in the field. Wyeth waived patent royalties on its innovative bifurcated needle, aiding in the delivery of over 200 million smallpox vaccines per year.


Wyeth's oral contraceptives became extremely popular in the US. John W. Culligan, after becoming Chairman and CEO in 1981, spun off less profitable lines and focused resources on consumer and prescription drugs. Wyeth made history in 1984 with the introduction of Advil, the first nonprescription ibuprofen in America, as well as the most famous prescription-to-OTC switch in history.

John R. Stafford became CEO and Chairman in 1986. He completed the divestiture of non-core businesses such as household products, foods, and candy. Wyeth and Ayerst merged to form Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, thus strengthening and consolidating Wyeth's pharmaceutical operations.

In the late 1980s, Wyeth acquired the animal health businesses of Bristol-Myers and Parke-Davis. David J. Richards, M.D. was appointed to the Vice President position. Wyeth also acquired A.H. Robins, makers of Robitussin, ChapStick, Dimetapp, and the Dalkon Shield.


Premarin becomes the #1 prescribed drug in the US in 1993. Effexor (venlafaxine HCl), the first serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), is introduced for the treatment of clinical depression and is later indicated for generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder.

In 1993, Wyeth founded the Women's Health Research Institute, the only institute in the pharmaceutical industry entirely dedicated to research in women's health. The Institute conducts trials in menopausal issues, endometriosis, contraception, and more.

In 1994, Wyeth acquired American Cyanamid and its subsidiary Lederle Laboratories. This acquisition brought the Lederle Praxis vaccines, new research and development capacity, and Centrum, the leading US multivitamin. Wyeth's sales topped US$13 billion in 1995; two years later, Premarin became the company's first brand to reach US$1 billion in sales.

In 1995, Wyeth acquired the animal health division of Solvay, which was folded into Fort Dodge Animal Health. The acquisition gave Fort Dodge Animal Health strong market presence in Europe and Asia as well as expanding its product portfolio to include swine and poultry vaccines.

In 1997, Wyeth's controversial diet drug fenfluramine was taken off the market by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after several reports of deaths and other health problems associated with the drug combination known as fen-phen occurred.

In 1998, American Home Products was left at the altar by British pharma powerhouse SmithKline Beecham, who pulled the plug on the estimated $70 billion merger. The deal was reportedly killed in response to British regulators who feared losing jobs to a proposed US headquarters location. (SmithKline Beecham merged with fellow Brit Glaxo Wellcome in 1999 to form the world's leading drug company.) This was the start of a three-year losing streak in the mergers and acquisitions game for AHP.

In 1999, another American Home Products merger fell through, this time a proposed $34 billion merger-of-equals with chemical and biotech manufacturer Monsanto Company. Though the companies issued a combined statement saying the breakup was mutual "because (the deal) was not in the best interests of shareholders," rumors circulated that AHP had canceled the deal due to issues in the soon-to-be-combined boardroom. (Monsanto announced in December 1999 that it would merge with Pharmacia & Upjohn instead; the new conglomerate eventually unloaded Monsanto again, before being bought themselves by Pfizer in 2003.)


  • In 2000, American Home Products lost a US$65 billion friendly takeover bid for rival drug company Warner-Lambert in their most dramatic merger loss yet . After the merger announcement, Pfizer offered a competing hostile bid, primarily to save their half of a Lipitor joint venture with Warner (at the time the #1 prescription drug in the world) . At one point talks were under way in which Procter & Gamble would help by buying both companies in a wild three-way merger, a rumor which cost P&G a 10% drop in its stock price . Eventually, despite both CEOs going on tour to defend the deal to shareholders, Pfizer won Warner-Lambert and formed the second largest drug company in the world, while AHP had to settle for a US$1.8 billion poison-pill payment .

  • Robert Essner, the company's former CEO, was appointed in 2001. On September 27, 2007, the Wyeth Board of Directors elected Bernard Poussot President and Chief Executive Officer effective on January 1, 2008.

  • In 2002, American Home Products changed its name to Wyeth, having spun off unrelated businesses in order to focus on pharmaceuticals.

  • Wyeth, as a corporation, filed a 'citizens complaint' with the United States FDA on October 16, 2005, requesting that the US FDA take action against pharmacies who compound, manufacture, or sell unlicensed bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) drugs to their patients. Specifically, Wyeth asserted that the BHRT drugs are not licensed by the FDA according to section 505 of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, misbranded and adulterated per sections 501 and 502 of 21 U.S.C. (paragraphs 351, 352, and 355). Drug manufacturers are required to demonstrate through clinical trials that marketed drugs are safe and efficacious, a process that BHRT drugs have not undergone. If honored, the request would require the same safety and efficacy data for those primarily engaged in alternative medicine.

  • In 2003 Wyeth reportedly contributed funds to a not-for-profit support group, The Meningitis Centre, which lobbied the Australian Government to introduce universal immunisation against pneumococcal disease. Wyeth produced the only pneumococcal vaccine approved for young children in Australia.

  • In 2008 the CFO and CEO were replaced.

  • During June 2009, an Arkansas federal judge granted public access to evidence that Wyeth Pharmaceuticals “ghostwrote” medical articles regarding its hormone therapy drug Prempro. Along with The New York Times, PLoS Medicine, represented by the law firm Public Justice, had sought to intervene in a court case of women bringing an action in relation to Prempro and other hormone therapy drugs, in order to unseal papers that allegedly showed that Wyeth failed to disclose its role in preparing medical journal articles promoting Prempro and in recruiting academic authors to put their names on the articles for publication—that is that they practised ghost writing.

  • On October 15, 2009 Pfizer signed the final acquisition papers making Wyeth a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer. Thus completing the US$68 billion dollar deal.


Wyeth Consumer Healthcare

Wyeth Consumer Healthcare (formerly Whitehall-Robins Consumer Healthcare) operates in over 65 countries. The division had sales of $2.5 billion in 2004 and is the fifth largest over-the-counter health products company in the world.

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, formerly Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, is the original company founded by the Wyeth brothers, originally known as John Wyeth and Brother. They focus on the research, develop, and marketing of prescription drugs. The pharmaceuticals division is further subdivided into five subdivisions: Wyeth Research, Prescription Products, Biotech, Vaccines, and Nutritionals.

Fort Dodge Animal Health

Fort Dodge Animal Health was founded in 1912 by Daniel E. Baughman as "Fort Dodge Serum Company". The company was established in Fort Dodge, Iowa, to manufacture hog cholera serum. It became a division of American Home Products (now Wyeth) in 1945. They are a leading manufacturer of prescription and over-the-counter vaccines and pharmaceuticals for veterinary medicine as well as livestock. Its global headquarters are located in Overland Parkmarker, Kansas. Pfizer plans to divest some of the Fort Dodge Animal Health products it acquired with Wyeth.

Innovative Fort Dodge products include West Nile-Innovator, Duramune Adult, CYDECTIN Pour-on, the Pyramid vaccine line, Quest Gel, and EtoGesic Tablets.


Wyeth Consumer Healthcare Products

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Products

Fort Dodge Animal Health Products

  • Barricade
  • Biodectin Sheep Vaccine and wormer (moxidectin)
  • Bursine-2/Bursine Plus/Bursine K Poultry Vaccines
  • Cefa-Lak/Cefa-Dri
  • CYDECTIN (moxidectin)
  • Dicural
  • Duramune Dog Vaccines
  • Duvaxyn Horse Vaccines
  • EtoGesic Tablets
  • Ewegaurd Sheep Vaccine and wormer (moxidectin) {{nb5}]
  • Fel-O-Guard Cat Vaccines
  • Fel-O-Vax Cat Vaccines
  • Fluvac Innovator Horse Vaccine
  • GiardiaVax Dog Vaccine
  • Ketaset
  • LeptoVax Dog Vaccine
  • LymeVax Dog Vaccine
  • Nolvasan
  • PestVac Pig Vaccine
  • Pinnacle I.N. Horse Vaccine
  • Pneumobort Horse Vaccine
  • Polyflex

  • Poulvac Poultry Vaccines
  • Presponse Cattle Vaccines
  • ProHeart 6/ProHeart SR-12 (moxidectin) Heartworm preventative
  • ProMeris for dogs and cats
  • Provac Poultry Vaccines
  • PYRAMID Cattle Vaccines
  • Quest/Equest Gel (moxidectin)
  • Rabon Ear Tags for Cattle
  • Rabvac Rabies Vaccine for Dogs
  • Supona
  • Suvaxyn Pig Vaccines
  • Synanthic
  • SYNOVEX Implants
  • Telazol
  • Torbugesic-SA
  • Triangle Cattle Vaccines
  • TriReo Poultry Vaccine
  • Vetdectin (moxidectin) (New Zealand)
  • Weanergaurd Sheep Vaccine and wormer (moxidectin)
  • Websters Cattle, Sheep and Poultry Vaccines (Australia)
  • West Nile Innovater Horse Vaccine

Wyeth Milk Products

  • Prenatal
    • Materna
    • Wyeth MAMA
  • Hospital
    • S-26 HMF
    • S-26 LBW GOLD
  • First Age
    • S-26
    • S-26 Gold
    • Bonna
  • Second Age
    • Bonamil
    • Promil
    • Promil Gold
  • Third Age (Stage 3)
    • Bonakid
    • Procal
    • Procal Gold
    • Progress
    • Progress Gold
    • Promil Kid

  • Fourth Age (Stage 4)
    • Bonakid Pre-School
    • Promise
    • Promise Gold
    • Promil Pre-School
    • Progress Pre-School
    • Progress Pre-School Gold
  • Special Feeder
    • Nursoy
    • Procal Lactose-Free
    • Promil Lactose-Free
    • Promise Lactose-Free
    • S-26 Lactose-Free
  • Adult
    • Enercal Plus


On July 1, 2006, Wyeth launched Prevnar — its international vaccine for Invasive Pneumococcal Disease (IPD) — in India. Prevnar is the first and only pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for infants and children which protects against pneumococcal disease like meningitis, bacterial pneumonia, septicaemia and bacteraemia (bacteria in the blood.)


  2. Pfizer’s $68 Billion Wyeth Deal Eases Lipitor Loss
  4. Wyeth's investor FAQ
  6. Wyeth Asks FDA: Prohibit Bio-Identical Hormones
  8. Hormone food scandal rocks Europe
  9. Drug giant linked to immunisation campaign
  10. Successful intervention by PLoS Medicine and The New York Times in Federal court grants public access to evidence that drug company ‘ghostwrote’ medical articles about hormone therapy drug, Prempro
  13. Wyeth Over-the-Counter Products
  14. Wyeth Prescription Products
  15. Wyeth Animal Health Products

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