The Merck Group, branded and commonly known as Merck, is a German multinational chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences company headquartered in Darmstadt, with around 50,000 employees in around 70 countries. Merck was founded in 1668 and is the world's oldest operating chemical and pharmaceutical company, as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
Merck operates in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. It has major research and development centres in Darmstadt, Boston, Tokyo and Beijing. Merck pioneered the commercial manufacture of morphine in the 19th century and for a time held a virtual monopoly on cocaine.
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