Organon was founded in the Netherlands in the 1920s by Dr. Saal van Zwanenberg. The first product which the company took to market was insulin for the treatment of diabetes, and in the following decade Organon began to manufacture oestrogens, which would lead them to create a number of hormonal contraceptives.
In 2007, Organon BioSciences merged with the Schering-Plough Corporation, which was well-known for manufacturing drugs for the treatment of allergies, high cholesterol and brain tumours. Two years later, Schering-Plough (including Organon) merged with the German pharmaceutical cooperation MSD & Co which is the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world by market share.
The roots of MSD & Co are in a drugstore set up in Germany in the 1600s. In the late 1800s George Merck, the owner at the time, emigrated to the US and set up the corporation which was confiscated during World War I but the assets were later recovered.
Within MSD & Co, Organon deals with developing medication in the fields of contraception, psychiatry, hormone replacement therapy, psychiatry and anaesthesia. It is well known for its development of oral contraceptives such as the combined pills Marvelon and Mercilon and the mini-pill Cerazette. Organon also produces the only vaginal ring designed as a contraceptive, NuvaRing.
MSD is currently one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world which as well as manufacturing human and animal medication also publishes medical reference books and in the 1950s was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to provide assistance to people who could not afford the medication. Today the corporation runs seven different patient assistance programmes and has donated more than $480 million to charities, educational funds and non-profit organisations over the decades.
MSD currently has a number of products under development and the company actively supports policies which promote innovation within the healthcare industry. The corporation currently employs over 50,000 people in 120 countries.