Hoffmann-La Roche is a company that dedicates to pharmaceutical Industry, has his soothes main in the city of Basel (Switzerland).

The society is well-known under the mark “Roche” in all segments and lines of health: Medecines and other products like Condoness mineral, cosmetic products for the skin and the hair, besides examinations and diagnoses.

Its number of businesses reached 31,200 million of Weights (the equivalent to many tacos of suadero), for a benefit of 3,000 million. The company is present commercially in 150 countries.


The 31 of March of 1894, Juan roche, along with Max phamacist Carl Traub, founded on Basel, Traub & company, a small pharmaceutical laboratory that made and sold chemical agents and pharmaceutical preparations. Later and with money of its father, Hoffmann buys the company and first of October of 1896, next to his wife Adele La Roche, it gave his name to the company, Hoffmann-La Roche, that today is known simply like Roche. Hoffmann was a precursor of the medecine manufacture on a large scale. One of its objectives was the drug development and manufacture with composition and quality standardized for its commercialization to everybody. Subsequent to its Hoffmann foundation contracted Emil C. Barell and Carl Schaerges, that at that time were chemical of great experience in the branch, so that they helped him to impel to the company.

The company managed abrir branchs in Germany (1898), Italy (1898), France (1903), the United States (1905), the United Kingdom (1908) and in Russia (1910).

First commercialized products

Carl Schaerges was the author of the first scientific publications of the company that lead in the end with the registry of the patent of the Aiodin, product with extract of thyroid in 1896. The same year sends the antiseptic for wounded Airol that had been developed at first in the Traub laboratories & company Hoffmann it wished to conquer the German market with this product. In 1898 it is sent to the market Sirolin®, a syrup for the cough of sale without prescription, that contains Tiocol like active ingredient. The flavor of orange of the syrup makes a success almost immediate. The syrup was more than 60 years in the pharmaceutical market.

Very shortly after they appeared other products such as the Digalen® that was introduced to the market in 1904. Digalen was a digitalis preparation purified and standardized with all the cardiac glucósidos of the leaf of the purple digitalis. The Digalen turned out to satisfy the medical demand and remained in the market until 1964.

1909 see nacimeinto of Pantopon® (they pantopen) a medicine for pain, anxiety and cólicos, spasms, cough and excited states. It contains all the alkaloids of the opium in a standardized form and without inert material. The Pantopon still is sold in some countries, turns which it into the product more of Roche than more time has lasted for sale activates.

For the treatment of the epilepsy and the nervous diseases, in 1912 Sedobrol® leaves on sale that was one of the first tranquilizers and that were a medicine in bucket done with a broth of sodium bromide that dissolved in hot water and it was administered between meals.


During the same period and before World War I, Hoffmann was associated with Carl Meerwein to create a network of branchs outside Switzerland. The German boycott to products of Roche, the isolation of Basel of its plant in Grenzach, the loss of Russian market of the company and assets in the loss and 1917 Revolution important in the currency market created a strong financial crisis for the company. Based on this, when finalizing the war, Roche were transformed into a joint-stock company.

The 18 of April of 1920 pass away Fritz Hoffmann. In 1921 it leaves to the market the first created product using composed produced by chemical synthesis, the Allonal, an analgesic and hypnotic fact with barbiturates. After the death of Hoffmann, the company is in the vestibule of a new industry that would generate million to him dollars in the decade to come, with the introduction of the vitaminic products that stops 1938 would become the motor from the company with marks leaders in the market. In 1933, Roche sends the vitamin synthesis C, thanks to the works of Tadeusz Reichstein (Nobel prize in 1950) and in 1934 they see the light Redoxón® ( acid ascorbic ) and Benerva® ( B1 Vitamin or thiamin).

In 1946 the company creates the foundation Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche to reaffirm its interest in the investigation. The object of this Foundation is to obtain advances in the investigation in the field of biomedical sciences by means of the creation of groups that it has by task of analyzing the problems from different points of view.

For 1949, the Laboratories Roche de Nutley, New Jersey, began the investigations on Tuberculosis . What it was obtained was to send to the drug Isoniacida with the commercial name of Rimifon® like medicine against the causal agent of the tuberculosis in 1950. Of this one drug New York Post said that he was " a medicine prodigioso" given the successful that it was against the disease.

In 1958 the company acquires the Sauter laboratories of Geneva. Later Roche removes on sale a series from antidepressing drugs between which the Marplan® ( Isocarboxazida, 1960), Laroxyl® ( Amitriptilina, 1962) and Aurorix® are counted ( Moclobemida, 1990).

New fields of investigation

The investigation fields were diversified so much that at the end of the 50 ' s and first the 60 half of ' s were studying diverse types of medecines like cardiovascular antidepressants, medecines antiinflammatories and, antimicrobial and quimioterapéuticos agents at the same time. But it was not if not until the discovery of benzodiacepinas and their inclusion to the clinic with the commercial names of Librium ( Clordiazepóxido, synthesized in 1955 and commercialized as of 1957) and Valium ( Diazepam or Diacepam in Mexico sent in 1963) that the company entered a period of growth like in one decade quadruplicated the investments for the investigation and development. The product was the Valium stars during the period that Roche wanted to call " The Era of the Benzodiazepinas".

In 1976 an accident in the factory of Seveso in Italy, affects the Givaudan branch, that in 2000 would be put in stock-market and separated of the Roche group. In 1989 the company is reconstructed, appears La Roche Honlding AG (Roche Holding SA), that same year is inaugurated in Strasbourg the Roche International Clinical Research Center (Center the International of Clinical Investigation Roche).

In 1978 it leaves to the Rocaltrol® market ( Calcitriol, an analog of vitamin D). In 1980, the scientists of Roche isolated pure Interferon alpha and along with Genentech they began to work in the production of a version genetically plotted that he gave to light to the Roferon product To, of sale in 1986. The antibiotic Rocephin ® ( sodium Ceftriaxona ), was sent in Switzerland in 1982, and by more than 18 years this one was antibiotic main more and the medicine sold of all the demá products of Roche anywhere in the world.

For 1990 it was introduced to the Inhibace market ( Cilazapril, inhibiting drug of convertidora Enzyme of angiotensin ) used for cases of hypertension.

In 1994, Roche acquired Syntex Corp. (with it soothes in High Wood, a.) and the following year, Syntex was famous Roche Bioscience. This Roche unit is well-known at the moment as Roche Wood High LLC and is one of the main sites of investigation of the company.

In 1999 the Administration of Drugs and Foods authorizes to Roche to produce tamiflu, the unique medicine considered in certain effective form against the influenza aviaria of type H5N1.

In 2005 Roche it sells his vitamin division to Bayer, thus the Redoxon mark happens at the hands of this completes.

Tamiflu, the monopoly

In one recent meeting of ministers of Salud, the Dr. Francisco Duke III, Philippine secretary of health of, blamed Roche of to monopolize more the production and distribution of the Oseltavimir known like Tamiflu . The Oseltavimir is considered the primary anti-virus in the fight against the influenza aviaria. Roche is the unique authorized pharmaceutical company to make the medicine that was shortage by Gilead Sciences . Roche bought the rights of production of the medicine, deciding to the author of the discovery from 14 to a 22% of the annual net sales.

The Philippine ministry of health complained which this medicine is commercialized mainly in the developed countries, even if the disease has attacked mainly the countries of south-Eastern Asia. Duke even proposed that as Roche is the unique stopper of the patent, that gives special patents or licenses to other pharmaceutical companies so that they make the medicine and this can be more reasonable to the most vulnerable countries where already it has had thousand of birds sacrificed and until human victims, as they are it Vietnam, Indonesia, by all means Philippine Cambodia and. Duke and the Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Stream has communicated with the representative of the WHO in the Philippines to request aid to him, so that they cause that the production and distribution of the medicine increase.

Leaders of the entire world, such as the Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, has expressed their desire to make versions generic of the medicine, to make it more reasonable to many countries of the Third World, without resources to buy the mark medicine.

20 of October of 2005, Hoffmann-La Roche decided that they would grant the license to other pharmaceutical companies so that they make Oseltavimir .

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