The History of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

"This pharaceutical firm was another of the establishments founded by brothers. This time is was John Wyeth and his younger brother Frank of Philadelphia. Their great uncle Noah Wyeth was one of the group which participated in the now famous Boston Tea Party...
John Wyeth- born in 1834 - enrolled in the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy for their two year course. This in 1852, at a time when others has only an apprenticeship in a pharmacy- if that. Upon graduation in 1854 he worked in a leading Philadelphian pharmacy until 1860. Then in that same year John and Frank Wyeth opened their own drugstore at Walnut Street in Philadelphia. It can be said that they were an immediate success.
Having had a taste of research after writing his thesis on the properties of Gillenia trifoliata, John Wyeth made his aim the improvement of the taste of pharmaceutical products. He became famous for "sweetened tinctures" or "elixirs" as they are now known...
In 1862, John Wyeth and Brother could publish a catalog listing the Wyeth preparations available in labeled bottles for wholesale distribution. During the Civil War the firm supplied the Union Army with many medicines. John Wyeth and Brother specialized in compressed tablets and sugar coated tablets. Glycerine Suppositories produced in the United States were first made by Wyeth- as were soluble gelatin capsules and effervescent salts."
- p. 273, Wyeth in History of Pharmacy and the Pharmaceutical Industry (1982)

"In June 1999, Interneuron set aside $70 million to pay for all Redux- related claims against the company. In August 2000, a federal judge in Philadelphia cleared the way for AHP to settle claims made against it in the Fen-Phen mater for $3.75 billion. Included in more than 9,000 suits against American Home Products and Wyeth are 45,000 people who have refused the settlement and 266,000 others in class actions.
In one of those lawsuits, a plaintiff in Texas alleged that Wyeth hid health risks associated with the drugs and outlined the way the company supposedly went about all this. According to the documents filed in court, Wyeth hired a media consultant to write ten articles that were to be submitted to various medical journals that just so happened to have been owned by the media consultant's parent company, Reed Elsevier Plc.
Only two of the articles were published before the company pulled the drugs. According to the editors at the journals, both articles were scrutinized for fairness by independent editorial boards. Whatever plans there were to publish the remaining eight were abandoned.
Despite the fact that the researchers who signed the articles now claim to have been unaware of Wyeth's financial or editorial interest in the articles, a Wyeth spokesperson defended his company to the Associated Press. "This is common practice in the industry. It's not particular to us. The companies have some input, it seems, in the initial development of the piece, but the proposed author has the last say." "
-p. 61, In A Perfect World in Prescription Games: Money, Ego and Power Inside the Global Pharmaceutical Industry by Jeffrey Robinson (2001)

"On January 25, 2008, Pfizer agreed to acquire Wyeth for $68 billion, or $50.19 per share, a 29 percent premium over the market price before rumors of the deal leaked. Pfizer is already the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, and combined with Wyeth, the company expects to earn over $20 billion in cash each year. Pfizer has stated that it plans to save $4 billion a year with the merger."
-Pfizer Broadens Beyond Pills with $68 Billion Wyeth Buy in the Wall Street Journal (January 26, 2009)

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