West Auckland chemist-turned-pharmaceutical entrepreneur Sir Graeme Douglas, 87, has died, it was revealed today.
He started his business empire in 1967 when as a chemist in Te Atatu he created a cough syrup called Kofsin, the first of many successful products.
The business also began importing specialist drugs, then packaging and distributing them to other chemists from the shop.
This enterprise evolved into Douglas Pharmaceuticals, which by the late 1980s was a major domestic supplier and exporter.
The company specialises in treatments for immuno-suppression, oncology, dermatology and the central nervous system but has recently expanded into nutrional products and sexual dysfunction.
An acne cream was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, a first by a New Zealand company.
In 2011, the company produced more than 455 million tablets, 270,000 litres as 31 tonnes of medicines, liquids and creams.
Today, run by son Jeff, Douglas Pharmaceuticals employs 450 people and supplies some 30 generic products to more than 60 customers in 35 countries from a $21 million facility in Henderson. Sales revenue of the family owned company exceeds $200 million annually.
An amazing success story where one pharmacist built a business employing 450 people.
Sir Graeme was a very generous person and a proud West Aucklander. He will be missed.