At Allergan, bringing the best of medicine to life is more than a promise. It is a commitment we have kept for more than 60 years and the philosophy upon which we have built our business.
The innovative spirit that infuses Allergan today can be traced back to Allergan's founder, pharmacist Gavin S. Herbert. In 1948, Mr. Herbert was already the successful owner of a chain of drug stores in Los Angeles. But his interest and entrepreneurial instincts were ignited when a close friend and chemist, Stanley Bly, approached him with an idea for an anti-allergy nose drop containing the antihistamine neoantergan. They set up a small laboratory on the balcony of Mr. Herbert's drugstore in Los Angeles to make the solution, which they named ALLERGAN® Nasal Drops.
Responding to the suggestion of an ophthalmologist friend, Mr. Herbert and Mr. Bly later reformulated the product as an eye drop to treat allergic conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye). The result was ALLERGAN®, the first antihistamine eye drop in the United States. As would be repeated time and again over the years, the new company achieved success by responding to the suggestion of its customers. The successful launch of ALLERGAN® effectively announced Mr. Herbert's entrance into the specialty field of ophthalmology and also became his new company's moniker when he established Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 1950 to pursue the potential of this and other therapies he and Mr. Bly would develop.
Mr. Herbert continued to focus Allergan on the discovery and development of novel formulations for specialty markets, and on close collaboration with physicians and the scientific community to make these products better. By 1953, Allergan was producing its eye drops and formulating new products such as the first cortisone eye drop to treat allergic inflammation and the first ophthalmic steroid decongestant.
In 1957, Mr. Herbert turned the company over to his son, Gavin Herbert, Jr. Like his father, he used insights gained by actively listening to physicians and patients, and consulting with specialists and researchers, to guide the development of innovative new products in areas of unmet medical need. Many Allergan "firsts" — innovative products that advance patient care — have followed since, both under the direction of Gavin Herbert, Jr., who remained at the helm until the mid-1990's, and presently David Pyott, who joined Allergan as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 1998 and now serves as Chairman of the Board and CEO.
Since arriving at Allergan, Mr. Pyott has reorganized and streamlined the company to reveal its strong entrepreneurial roots. He also has re-energized the company around the founders' original vision for a fast and responsive, customer-focused way of doing business. In doing so, Mr. Pyott has helped Allergan build on its multiple strengths and move decisively into exciting new areas of specialty medicine where opportunities to truly make a difference in patients' lives are greatest.
Today, Allergan is a global, multi-specialty health care company with leading portfolios in eye care, neurosciences, medical dermatology, medical aesthetics and urologics.