Beecham (pharmaceutical company)

Beecham (Pharmaceutical Company)

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Beecham (pharmaceutical company)

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Beecham was a British pharmaceutical company. It was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. Beecham, after having merged with SmithKline Beckman, merged with GlaxoWellcome to become GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).


Beecham was the family business of Thomas Beecham (1820–1907), a chemist. He was the grandfather of the conductor also named Thomas Beecham (1879–1961). As a boy, he worked as a shepherd, selling herbal remedies as a sideline. He then started as a travelling salesman or peddler.

Their first product was Beecham's Pills, a laxative, in 1842. Subsequent success enabled him to open a shop in Wigan in 1847.

Beecham opened its first factory in St. Helens, Lancashire, for the rapid production of medicines in 1859. Under Thomas' son, Sir Joseph Beecham, 1st Baronet (1848–1916), the business expanded, but remained a patent medicine company and engaged in little research.

Beecham bought companies for various products, adding the Lucozade glucose drink and Macleans to its product chain in 1938. By buying Brylcreem the following year, it added hair products for men.

In 1943, it decided to focus more on improving its research and built Beecham Research Laboratories. In 1945, the company was named Beecham Group Ltd.

In 1945, Beecham Research Laboratories Ltd. operated from Brockham Park,......
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