Forest Laboratories

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Forest Laboratories, Inc.
Industry Pharmaceutical industry
Founded 1956; 62 years ago (1956)
Defunct July 1, 2014; 4 years ago (July 1, 2014)
Headquarters New York City
Key people
Brenton L. Saunders (CEO)
Revenue Increase $3.646 billion (2013)
Increase $0.165 billion (2013)
Total assets Increase $12.017 billion (2013)
Total equity Increase $6.165 billion (2013)
Number of employees
Footnotes / references

Forest Laboratories was a company in the pharmaceutical industry incorporated in Delaware, with its principal office in New York City. It was known for licensing European pharmaceuticals for sale in the United States. On July 1, 2014, the company was acquired by Actavis (now Allergan).


The company was founded in 1956 as a small laboratory service company.[2]

In 1967, the company became a public company via an initial public offering.[3]

In 1977, Howard Solomon became the chief executive officer of the company.[3]

In 1984, the company acquired O'Neal Jones & Feldman for $8.8 million after a federal investigation resulted in one of its drugs being recalled.[4][2]

On July 17, 1998, the company received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for Celexa (Citalopram), an antidepressant.[5]

In 2000, the company cut ties with Warner-Lambert for the marketing of Celexa after Warner-Lambert was acquired by Pfizer.[6]

On August 16, 2002, the company received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for Lexapro (Escitalopram), an updated version of Celexa.[7]

In 2013, Solomon retired as chief executive officer of the company.[8]

In February 2014, the company acquired Aptalis for $2.9 billion.[9]

On July 1, 2014, the company was acquired by Actavis (now Allergan).[10] The sale of the company came after pressure from Carl Icahn, the largest shareholder.


Some of the products Forest Laboratories marketed with its partners included:


Illegal distribution and promotion of medicines[edit]

In September 2010, the company agreed to pay $313 million to resolve allegations of civil and criminal liability relating to felony, obstruction of justice, and the illegal distribution and promotion of pharmaceuticals, charges to which it pled guilty. One of the pharmaceutical-related charges was a misdemeanor charge of illegally promoting the Celexa and Lexapro for unapproved uses in treating pediatric depression. The other drug-related charge was a misdemeanor charge of distributing the unapproved drug Levothroid in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Certain of the criminal activities were revealed with the help of whistleblowers, who received $14 million from the settlement.[11][12][13]

Tax avoidance via transfer pricing[edit]

In 2010, the company was criticized for legally moving its profits offshore via transfer pricing.[14]