Wyeth company, probably better known with its former name AHP(American Home Products) is one of the largest producers of pharmaceuticals, health care products and animal health care products in the world. With a history going as early as the mid 19th century, the company achieved prominence in a very competitive domain and despite the problems that plagued it in recent years is now a proud member of the prestigious Fortune 500 club.


Given the peculiarities of the pharmaceutical business, Wyeth.com focuses mostly on health care professionals. This reflects accurately the dynamic of the market and constitutes the most efficient area of promotion. Besides this aspect, the website features all the facilities usually associated with corporate design. You will be able to find an investor relations section, all the recent press releases, a thorough description of the company’s philosophy as well as the careers section.

Another important focus is given to the array of drugs that the company produces and it is also visible that the online promotion is taken very seriously as almost any drug in the list has its own dedicated website. Although the focus of Wyeth.com is the American market, links to other national Wyeth sites can be easily found.

History of the Company

The huge company started as a small drugstore, opened by pharmacists John and Frank Wyeth in 1860. After two years of functioning they started to increase the quantity of drugs manufactured aiming mostly for common, easy to sell products. Their business became more successful in 1864, during the Civil War, when they began supplying medicines to the Union Army. Another step in company’s evolution was the inventing of a rotary compressed tablet machine by an employee of Wyeth, the first mechanism of this sort in the U.S.A. The medicine production drastically increased, the company was a success and Wyeth brothers won multiple awards and recognitions. This event marks the entrance of the pharmaceutical industry in the mass manufacturing era and would have enormous and profound effects in the years to come.

John Wyeth died in 1907 and his son inherited half of the company. This is when the company got the name of American Home Products. Twenty-two years later Frank Wyeth died too and leaved his part of the business to the Harvard University. In 1931, Harvard sold Wyeth back to AHP for 2.9 million dollars.

The peak expansion period was reached under the leadership of Alvin G. Brush, who served the company for thirty years. In the next fifteen years 34 new companies were acquired , one of them specialized in infant medicine. Wyeth made another great deal by achieving the license for an arthritis vaccine. They heavily supported United States in the World War II supplying the army with such active substances like sulfa bacteriostatics, typhus vaccine, quinine, blood plasma and for this reason the company was later rewarded.

The research for penicillin, the invention of Premarine-world’s first conjugated estrogen medicine, the acquisition of Fort Dodge Serum Company(entering the animal health field) are few of the most important steps in Wyeth’s future development.

For the next nineteen years(1850-1869) the company produced several important drugs such as: Antabuse (treats alcoholism), Ansolyen (establishes blood pressure), Myssoline (anticonvulsive) and Ovral (contraceptive). Wyeth made history though when it introduced Advil, the very first over the counter drug based on ibuprofen, an active substance commonly used today.

Impact On Popular Culture

Unfortunately, with all its heritage and innovation Wyeth mostly made the news only with controversial issues. In one of the most famous cases, the company was discovered to fund a non profit organization in Australia which lobbied for a compulsory, universal vaccine against pneumococcal diseases, a generic infection which can cause a wide range of diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis or peritonitis. At the time Wyeth was the only pharmaceutical company with an approved vaccine designed for infants of this type.

The company also reached the news when it was discovered that Prempro, one of the company’s drugs had very serious long term side effects. This has led to a sharp drop in revenues for all the hormone based drugs the company was producing, most notably with Premarin, which before the scandal had averaged a record 2 billion dollars revenue in sales.

Despite these scandals, which seem a trademark of any modern pharmaceutical company, it can be argued that the company had a primarily positive role, as the anti pneumococcal vaccine mentioned above saw a dramatic turn as it helped combat infant mortality in countries such as India. Despite its sometimes questionable practices, Wyeth remains a solid company.




5 Giralda Farms
Madison NJ 07940 US


American Home Products Corporation
973 683 2132 973 683 2116, Fax: +1 610 964 3805

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