Highlights in the History of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Inc.
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Inc. will always be grateful for the achievements and pioneer efforts of our founders and their spirit of innovation and entrepreneurial endeavour. This spirit has been carried forward by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Canada and has been adopted by our employees as we become the leader in our industry.
The following notable highlights present some of the milestones in the history of the people, companies and products that led to the foundation of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Canada.
- In 1907, Toronto-based Mr. Harold F Ritchie & Company Limited obtained the rights to distribute ENO Fruit Salts in Canada.
- In 1928, Mr. Ritchie acquired the United Kingdom based companies JC Eno and Thermogene, forming a company called International Proprietaries Limited.
- In 1938, Beecham Group Limited acquired Eno Proprietaries and Macleans Limited, adding antacid Eno's Fruit Salts, toothpaste and Lucozade energy drink which signaled expansion to the oral care and drinks markets. The Horlicks Malted Milk business grew markedly in the years after the beverage was patented. In the 1930's, “Malted Milk” was dropped from the product description and Horlicks began promoting the benefits of sound sleep, resulting from the regular bedtime consumption of the drink.
- Also in 1938, a blackcurrant syrup made specifically for the preparation of milkshakes was found to have exceptionally high vitamin C content. This product was developed for sale through hospitals named Ribena, from the Latin for blackcurrant Ribes negrum. Ribena was produced for free distribution to children during the Second World War.
- In 1939, Beecham acquired Country Perfumery Company Limited, manufactures of Brylcreem, a men's hair application.
- In 1960, Smith Kline & French launches Contac, the cold remedy, using the Spansule to release an initial major therapeutic dose, followed by numerous smaller doses, over 10 - 12 hours.
- In 1986, Beecham acquires the United States firm of Norcliff Thayer, adding Tums (antacid tablet) and Oxy (acne treatment) to our over-the-counter portfolio, reinforcing our strong position in the OTC market.
- The merger in 1989 of SmithKline Beckman United States and The Beecham Group United Kingdom formed SmithKline Beecham, which created a new company with one of world's largest research and development organizations. The combined product portfolio, pipeline and geographic networks positioned SmithKline Beecham at the forefront of the global healthcare industry creating customer healthcare solutions.
- In December 2000, Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham merged to form GlaxoSmithKline Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Inc.
- In 2001, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Canada acquired family-owned Block Drug Company (Canada) Limited. In the early 1900's, Alexander Block began operations of a small pharmacy in New York, United States primarily selling Wernet's brand of denture cleaners and adhesives - marking the true beginnings of Block products that exist today. In the 1950's, Block Drug expanded into worldwide markets including Canada. Block Drug Company (Canada) Limited brought denture care products, oral healthcare products, over-the-counter medications and professional dental products such as Sensodyne®, Polident®, Poli-Grip® and Spectro Jel® to GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare's brand portfolio.
Today GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Inc. continues to be recognized by our customers and our consumers as a world class provider of market-leading, science-based consumer healthcare products.