Our history

GlaxoSmithKline started operations on 1 January 2001 following the merger of GlaxoWellcome plc and SmithKline Beecham plc, but our combined histories go back much further than that. Find out about the many products and mergers that led to the GSK we know today.

1700s

1715

Plough Court Pharmacy established

Plough Court pharmacy is established, the forerunner of Allen and Hanburys, in London by Silvanus Bevan. The A&H name continues today.

1800s

1865

Mahlon Kline joins Smith & Shoemaker

1891

Smith, Kline and Company acquires French, Richards and Company

The original company that John K Smith founded went through numerous mergers and acquisitions. Probably the most important was the company's absorption in of French, Richards and Company, another respected drug wholesaler.

1900-1949

1950-1999

1963

Betnovate is launched

Betnovate was the first of Glaxo's range of steroid skin disease treatments. In the mid-1960s, Smith Kline & French also acquired RIT (Recherche et Industrie Therapeutiques), a vaccines business.

1969

Ventolin is launched

Glaxo launches Ventolin as a treatment for asthma, marketed under the Allen & Hanburys name.

1972

Amoxycillin discovered

Scientists at Beecham Research Laboratories discover amoxycillin and launch Amoxil, which will become a widely-used antibiotic

1989

SmithKline Beckman and the Beecham Group merge to form SmithKline Beecham plc.

1995

Glaxo and Wellcome merge to form Glaxo Wellcome

2000s

2000

Planned merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham is announced

2002

The first 100 million albendazole tablets are donated as part of our commitment to fight lymphatic filariasis

2004

Clinical Trial Register launched

The Clinical Trial Register (today the Clinical Study Register) is launched, an internet site containing clinical trial data that anyone can access.

2011

Human Genome Sciences and GSK receive approval for Benlysta, the first new lupus treatment in 50 years

2012

We are an official supplier to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, providing laboratory services for official anti-doping measures