Warner-Lambert corporate history can be traces back to the 1850s when a Philadelphia pharmacist named William R. Warner began experimenting with a new tablet coating process to encase harsh-tasting medicines in a sugar shell.

William R. Warner & Company, a pharmaceuticals and cosmetic marker, was founded in 1920. For the next three decades, the company and its successor, Warner-Hudnut, Inc. acquired dozens of businesses in the consumer health care a and pharmaceuticals.

Meanwhile, in the American Midwest, Jordan Wheat Lambert launched Lambert Pharmaceutical Company in St. Louis. Lambert’s main product was Listerine antiseptic. He founded his company on what has become one of the most successful proprietary products in American marketing history.

On 31 March 1955, Warner Company and Lambert combined to form Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical Company.

Warner-Lambert’s aggressive acquisition strategy continued through the next two decades and onto the 1980s. In 1962, the company bought American Chicle a New York based company that was among the world’s largest producers of gums and mints.

The year 1970 was a turning point for the growth of Warner-Lambert, acquiring Parke-Davis, once the largest drug manufacturer.

Warner-Lambert entered the controversial transdermal nicotine patch market in 1992 with its Nicotrol brand. Nicotrol had early but short-lived success in an already-crowded sector.

In 2000, Pfizer acquired Warner-Lambert for $90.27 billion in stock. Pfizer then became the world’s second largest pharmaceutical company, right behind GlaxoSmithKline. In June of 2000, the Federal Trade Commission approved the merger.
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Reuters: Business News