Thursday, August 08, 2013

Colonel Eli Lilly (1838-1898)

Colonel Eli Lilly a 38 year old pharmaceutical chemist and veteran of the US Civil War, founded Eli Lilly and Company of Indianapolis on May 1876 after acquired a small laboratory. His aim was to improve the quality of already existing drugs. Within two generations his family became the wealthiest people in town.

He saw firsthand the blood causalities of war and was frustrated by the poorly prepared and often ineffective medicines of his day.

He started the company with total capital of $1,400 and four employees, including his 14 year old son, Josiah.

His business flourished but he still wasn’t satisfied with the traditional methods of testing the quality so his products. In 1886, he hired a chemist as a full time scientist, using and improving upon the newest techniques for quality evaluation, his company would begin an incredible phase of growth that last literally for generation.

It initial success resulted from an innovative process of gelatin coating pills, which the firm still uses today. Lilly’s idea to coat pills with gelatin helped put his company on the medical map. The company was one of the pioneers in the development of hard capsules during the 20th century. The other one was Parke, Davis and Company.

Colonel Lilly sought to make medicine according to recognized scientific criteria: precise formulation, accurate compounding, standardization by assay, full disclosure of ingredients on the label and honest claims. The medicines that he produced were purer than those of his competitors and that give him edge over the competition.
Colonel Eli Lilly (1838-1898)

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