Canadian pharmaceutical company Duchesnay was acquired in 1970 through the entrepreneurship of Louis Boivin, President and owner of Groupe Pharmaceutique Boivin. Until 1991, the mission of this family-run business was to distribute over-the-counter and prescription medications to Quebec pharmacies.
In the late 1980s, a member of the Boivin family experienced a very difficult pregnancy, which significantly impacted her health and well-being. Her physician had prescribed a medication to treat her condition, but since her pharmacist did not have access to reliable scientific information about the use of medication in pregnancy, he refused to dispense it because he believed the drug was teratogenic. Since the physician and the pharmacist could not come to an agreement, the burden of deciding whether or not to take the prescribed medication was left to the pregnant woman.
The Boivin family realized that little scientific or educational information about the safe use of drugs to be used in pregnancy was available to the Canadian medical community or to women.
That's why the Boivin family decided to change their company's mission and make Duchesnay the first pharmaceutical company specifically dedicated to pregnant women and their babies. Their goal was to ensure that expectant women who require pharmacological treatments for pre-existing or pregnancy-related diseases could access reliable counselling and medications that had been proven safe for them and for their unborn or newborn babies.