In 1887 Luther Perrigo, the proprietor of a general store and apple-drying business, had the idea to package and distribute patented medicines and household items for country stores. Located in Allegan, Michigan, the L. Perrigo Company enjoyed steady growth and, by the early 1920s, as many as 50 Perrigo salesmen were calling on rural stores throughout the Midwest.
The company then leveraged the "private label" concept as a way to build customer loyalty. For no additional cost, Perrigo offered to imprint the individual store's name on the labels for epsom salts, sweet oil, bay rum and dozens of other wet and dry goods stocked in general stores of that era.
In the mid-1930s, the company signed its first, large private-label customer and began manufacturing in Allegan, Michigan, which still serves as our global headquarters and where the largest concentration of employees resides. The company continued its domestic growth before establishing a global footprint with acquisitions in Mexico, the United Kingdom, Israel and India.
Through the years, the company founded by Luther Perrigo has grown in size and scope to become a leading global healthcare supplier that develops, manufactures and distributes over-the-counter and generic prescription (Rx) pharmaceuticals, infant formulas, nutritional products, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and pharmaceutical and medical diagnostic products.
Yet, as we have grown domestically and internationally, we have remained true to Luther's vision to provide affordable healthcare products to consumers worldwide.
Building our Global Footprint
Some key dates in Perrigo's history:
1921 – Perrigo opens its first plant in Allegan, Michigan. Its second plant opens in 1936.
1984 – Greenville, South Carolina joined the Perrigo family back in 1984 and is home to a large portion of our vitamin products. It was a key component of Perrigo taking over an already large vitamin business when a competitor went out of business in 2007.
1997 – As Perrigo sought to expand its Consumer Health care presence globally, acquisition of established businesses was a natural solution. In 1997, Perrigo made its first venture south of the border to Mexico, when it acquired Quimica y Farmacia, also known as Quifa. Since that time, through expansion and acquisitions, Perrigo Mexico has grown to become the largest retail brand pharmaceutical business in Mexico, producing over the counter pharmaceuticals, prescription medications, nutrition products, and vitamin supplements.
2001 – In 2001 Perrigo acquired Wrafton Laboratories Limited and later became the U.K.'s largest manufacturer of over the counter pharmaceutical and nutritional products for the store brand market. Perrigo UK also has dedicated product development and regulatory teams that focus on store brand and contract product development. Two acquisitions later, the combination of the three companies into Perrigo UK made it the clear leader.
2003 – Perrigo India began operations in 2003, initially focusing on supporting global sourcing of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Since then, their mission has grown and now they are active on four fronts, Formulation Research and Development, Analytical Research and Development, Quality Assurance External Auditing, and Sourcing.
Also founded in 2003 was our Perrigo China location, or PCI, where raw material sourcing and quality support is housed. In addition, the PCI office also leads the sales efforts of selected products into the Chinese Market.
2004 – Perrigo New Jersey was established in 2004 with the initial goal of developing prescription generic pharmaceuticals. Now, their staff supports the development of solid orals and has overseen the development of niche products such as transdermal patches and pressurized metered dose inhalers.
2005 – Perrigo New York became a part of Perrigo in 2005 and is a state of the art cream and ointment tube plant that produces more than 50 million tubes annually. This operation supports a key portion of our generic Rx and OTC business.
Our most diverse and complex operations can be found in Israel, where Perrigo acquired Agis Industries in 2005. Along with developing, manufacturing and marketing Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, our Israel-based business sells pharmaceuticals and medical diagnostic equipment in the Israeli market.
2008 – Our consumer healthcare production was enhanced with the addition of Perrigo Michigan-Holland in 2008, through the acquisition of JB Labs, adding contract over the counter and nutritional products to the mix.
Perrigo again expanded its product offerings with the acquisition of Unico Holdings, a leading manufacturer of store brand pediatric electrolytes, enemas and feminine hygiene products.
We also extended our UK presence with the acquisition of Galpharm Healthcare, Ltd., a UK leader in over-the-counter store brand pharmaceutical products sold by super markets, drug stores and pharmacies.
The acquisition of Laboratorios Diba, S.A., a privately-held manufacturer of over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, hormonals and ophthalmics, allowed us to strengthen our presence in that market and add several new formulas to our product portfolio.
2009 – The company decides to exit the consumer products business in order to optimize Perrigo's product portfolio. The Israel Consumer Products business is sold to Emilia Group, a subsidiary of O. Feller Holding Ltd.
2010 – Perrigo's global expansion continued with the acquisition of Orion Laboratories Pty., Ltd., a leading supplier of over-the-counter store brand pharmaceutical products in Australia and New Zealand.
Perrigo moved into the infant formula business by acquiring PBM Holdings, Inc., the leading manufacturer of store-brand infant formula and baby foods sold by leading retailers in the mass, club, grocery and drug channels in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and China.
2011 – In February 2011, Perrigo entered the diabetes care category through an exclusive agreement with AgaMatrix, Inc., to sell and distribute store brand blood glucose monitors and test strips in the U.S.
Later in the year, expansion of our specialty portfolio of generic pharmaceutical products was bolstered by the acquisition of Paddock Laboratories, Inc. The acquisition added incremental scale, as well as development and manufacturing capabilities across a spectrum of niche dosage forms.
2012 – In September 2012, Perrigo announced its intention to enter the pet care category by acquiring the assets of Sergeant's Pet Care Products, Inc., a privately-held manufacturer of over-the-counter companion animal healthcare products. Sergeant's Pet Care Products, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, with additional operations in Kansas City, Kansas, offers numerous flea and tick, health and well-being and consumable products to pet owners at affordable prices.
Add it all up and you get more than 9,000 employees working together to create the next chapter in our 125-year history of innovation and dedication to manufacturing quality, affordable healthcare products for consumers across the world.