Searle A Company That Changed The World by Making The First Oral Contraceptive.

Searle  G.D opened ( in 1888) his pharmaceutical company in Omaha, Nebraska, USA and distributed medicines. He dreamt of manufacturing his drugs and therefore shifted to Chicago. In the beginning, whatever manufactured, he sold all the products to doctors directly. He had this strategy for a long period. His physician son Claude Howard Searle took over the business after his death in 1917. Claude kept the same style of functioning as his father’s and started to spend more money on research and development. In 1939, his company manufactured the drug Aminofilian for breathlessness and heart problem which the market adopted quickly. 1960 the sales went up to $ 37 million. Claude had given the complete responsibility to his son John.

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Photo: Dainik Bhaskar.

Around this time, the company’s Dr. Albert N Raymond, head of research department was working on oral birth control contraceptives for preventing pregnancy. On successful completion of all tests, the company launched it for the first time the drug named ‘Anovid’ as an oral contraceptive. The stock in the market finished quickly. The drug reached each home of the US. The sales jumped to $ 87 million with an increase of 137 %. The shareholder got the return of 38%. This drug made the Searle family as one of the wealthiest and influential family of Chicago.
1n 1966 John retired and became the Chairman of the Company. He handed the command of the company to his Harvard-educated son Daniel. The younger son Williams was named the Vice president. There were talks that sons could not run the organisation in profit when the Company started to loose.

The competition in the market and other companies like Johnson & Johnson commenced making the pregnancy prevention drugs. The market share of the Searle company began to fall. The side effects of the drug were coming to the notice of FDA and the public. FDA did not approve the contraceptive. No results were coming despite the massive investment. The earnings of the company started dipping. Others companies’ profit surged upwards by 19% while Searle profits reduced to 4%.

For increasing profits, other companies were hired by Searle. In 1975 Donald Rumsfeld took over as CEO. He sold off the loss-making divisions. In 1978 John father of Daniel passed away. At that time Searle, Family had the total assets of $ 250 million. Rumsfeld could marginally improve the company’s financial status, but debts and the controversies were increasing. In 1985, the chemical giant Monsanto bought over the Searle for 2.7 billion.


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