What They Do
Miles Laboratories manufactures Alka-Seltzer, an over-the-counter remedy for cold and flu.
When Andrew Beardsley heard that reporters at a local newspaper used a mixture of aspirin and bicarbonate of soda to avoid colds and the flu, he investigated. In true entrepreneurial spirit, he had a chemist mix a concoction for sale.
For eighty years, Alka-Seltzer has remained one of the world’s most famous cold remedies. Owned by Miles Laboratories, a subsidiary of Bayer, Alka-Seltzer is sold in more than 100 countries, and generates $90 million a year in sales.
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The next time you find yourself swearing at a bottle of aspirin that just won’t open, you’ll know who to thank. Coming up– the origins of the childproof container. The year was 1936, and Henri Breault of Ontario, Canada, had just become Doctor Henri Breault, M.D. He began working as a doctor specializing in pediatrics at the hospital in Windsdor, Ontario, just across the Detroit River from the state of Michigan. By 1957 he became the Chief of Pediatrics and Director of the hospital’s new Poison Control Centre. It was in this position that he witnessed 1000 cases of child poisonings every…
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