The Canadian company Duchesnay was acquired in 1970 through the entrepreneurship of Louis Boivin, President and owner of Groupe Pharmaceutique Boivin. Up to 1991, the mission of this family-run business was to distribute over-the-counter and prescription medications to Quebec pharmacies.
Towards the end of the 80's, one of Boivin family's members experienced a very difficult pregnancy, which was affecting her health and well-being. Her physician had prescribed a medication to treat this condition, but since her pharmacist did not have access to proper scientific information on medications during pregnancy, he refused to dispense it to her because he believed that the drug was teratogenic. Since the physician and the pharmacist could not agree on this issue, the burden and the stress of the decision to follow the prescribed treatment was left to the pregnant woman.
The Boivin family realized that little scientific or educational information on drugs to be used in pregnancy was available to the Canadian medical community and to women. Therefore, the Boivin family decided to change the Company's mission and that Duchesnay would be the first pharmaceutical company to dedicate itself specifically to the pregnant women and their newborn, to ensure that expecting women who require pharmacological treatments for pre-existing or pregnancy-related diseases have access to proper counselling and to medications that are proven safe for them and for their newborns.