Baxter International Company History Timeline


Baxter International was founded in 1931 by Donald Baxter, a Los Angeles-based medical doctor, as a manufacturer and distributor of intravenous therapy solutions.


Seeing a need for products closer to the Midwest, the company opened a manufacturing plant in Glenview, Illinois, in 1933.


Baxter's interest was bought out in 1935 by Ralph Falk, who established a research and development function.


In 1939, the company introduced the Transfuso-Vac blood collection system, a sterile vacuum-type collection and storage unit for blood.

In 1939 the company developed a vacuum-type collection container, extending the shelf life of blood from hours to weeks.


Late in the 1940’s the company expanded into a new office and production facility in the Chicago suburb of Morton Grove.


In 1941, the company introduced the PLASMA-VAC container, which for the first time allowed plasma to be separated from whole blood for storage.


In 1948, Baxter's product line was expanded to include Fenwal Laboratories' new unbreakable plastic container for blood storage, the precursor to the Viaflex plastic IV bag, a product that would serve as a basis for the development of a plastic delivery system for dialysis solutions.

In 1948, it launched an unbreakable plastic container for blood storage.


Baxter formed a pharmaceutical specialties division under the name Travenol Laboratories in 1949.


1950: Our second United States manufacturing facility opened in Cleveland, Mississippi.

The company expanded considerably during the 1950’s.


Perhaps the most significant development of the decade for Baxter was William B. Graham’s appointment as president and chief executive officer in 1953.


In 1954, the company expanded operations outside of the United States by opening an office in Belgium.


Pei is a trustee of the Asia Society, an arts and culture nonprofit founded by John D. Rockefeller 3rd in 1956.

In 1956, the Dutch physician Willem Kolff developed the first “artificial kidney,” which was made from wood slats, orange juice cans, and a cellophane membrane.


Loucks is a member of Skull and Bones, class of 1957.


1958: Wayne Quinton, along with Doctor Robert Bruce, developed the cardiac stress machine.


In 1959 the company also established its international division.


Because of the company’s steady growth during subsequent years, shareholders voted several two-for-one stock splits during the 1960’s.

The company built two Arkansas facilities during the 1960’s.


Baxter shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 1961.


Graham was a fundraiser for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in his first run for Congress in 1962.


In 1963, Baxter ended its 30-year-old distribution contract with American Hospital Supply and thereafter developed its own sales force.

1963 - Baxter Australia commences operations – a joint venture with Drug Houses of Australia (DHA), with a small range of quality products manufactured and serviced from several locations.


In 1968 Baxter introduced the Hemofil antihemophilic factor, which was six times as powerful as any similar product on the market at that time.


In 1969, the first peritoneal dialysis (PD) solution was introduced.


In 1970, VIAFLEX, the first flexible, plastic IV container, was introduced.

During the 1970’s Baxter built a new plant in North Carolina and a new corporate headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois, and made a series of acquisitions.


1971: Our company joined the Fortune 500 list of the largest American corporations.


In 1976 Baxter shareholders voted to adopt the name Baxter Travenol for the parent company, with Travenol Laboratories as the major domestic operating subsidiary.


In 1979, Baxter offered continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis as an alternative to hemodialysis for kidney failure.


In 1980, Vernon R. Loucks, Jr. replaced William Graham as president and chief executive officer; he would become chairperson seven years later.

In the late 1980’s both the perceived danger and the slight real risk of Aids contamination from blood transfusions have depressed the demand for blood therapy products.


In 1982, when the federal government announced reductions in the fees it would pay Medicare and Medicaid patients undergoing kidney dialysis treatment, industry observers predicted that Baxter would take the lead in home dialysis methods.

When the federal government announced reductions in the fees it would pay for kidney dialysis treatment in 1982, industry observers predicted that Baxter would take the lead in home dialysis methods.

In 1982, Baxter acquired Medcom, Inc., a New York-based firm founded by Richard Fuisz and his brother, that had large markets in the United States and Saudi Arabia.


In late 1983, the company formed a partnership with Genentech Inc. to develop, manufacture, and market products in the human diagnostics field.

1983 - Toongabbie pharmacy opens in New South Wales.


Sales of these products declined by 7% in 1984.


Graham has been senior chairman of the Board of Directors since 1985.

Although a reliable blood screening test was developed relatively quickly, analysts predicted that a return to earlier levels of use of blood therapy products was unlikely in the near future. For example, in 1985, when labor strikes in the Philippines caused turmoil at Baxter's intravenous operation, the company was forced to close its operations there, a withdrawal that cost Baxter its $10 million investment in the facility.


Early in 1990, the company announced the largest restructuring in its history, involving the closing of 21 plants, divesting marginal businesses, and laying off about ten percent of the work force.

Frame held various senior management positions in The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, a financial institution from which he retired in 1990, including group legal advisor, executive director and deputy chairman." Also chairman of Wallem Ltd. and deputy chairman of Time Products.


Moreover, in 1991 a criminal investigation of Caremark for alleged Medicare kickbacks was initiated.

1991: Our Interlink IV Access System launched, introducing the first "needleless" system for IV therapy.

1991 - Baxter Australia wins Australian Quality Award and Baxter Quality Award and Perth distribution facility opens.


Loucks's 1993 letter to shareholders acknowledged that the company's 'earnings and stock price [had] not performed well,' and announced 1993 losses of $268 million.

Baxter itself was the target of a federal investigation that resulted in a 1993 guilty plea to a felony charge of abetting the Arab economic boycott of Israel.

Susan Crown, director since 1993 to the present, vice president of Henry Crown and Company; Caribbean International News Corp; and trustee of Northern Funds Mutual Fund.


Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, senior vice president and CFO, later president and CEO of Baxter, has been a director since 1995.

15, 1995 in Geneva, as she tried to withdraw $84 million from her husband's false-name account, which Citibank officers had helped to establish at Pictet & Cie.


On January 16, 1996, 61 days after Castanon's widely-publicized arrest in Geneva, Rukavina was transferred to head Citibank's Investment Products Group.

12, 1996, the banking world was shocked when Pei -- who had reportedly brought Citibank tremendous revenues -- announced his retirement.

Pei has been a director of AIG since 1996.

1996 - Brisbane sales and distribution facility opens.


Walter E. Boomer, elected 1997, president and CEO of Rogers Corp., former executive vice president of McDermott International and president of the Babcock and Wilcox Power Generation Group; also a director of Cytyc Corp. and Taylor Energy Co.

1997 - Baxter Australia wins third Baxter Quality Award.


Case Corp. press release, May 13, 1998.)

Pei was elected to the board of directors of the Case Corporation in 1998. (Shareholders Elect Ronald E. Goldsberry as a New Director of Case Corporation.

In 1998, the company acquired Ohmeda’s Pharmaceutical Products Division, and Baxter became a leading company in inhaled anesthetics.


Pei was also named a director of CNH Global, a global corporation formed from the merger of New Holland N.V. and the Case Corporation on November 12, 1999.

1999 - Baxter Pharmacy Services opens in Coorparoo, QLD. Melbourne depot opens in Brunswick.


Loucks vowed to 'achieve the potential that exists for Baxter International' by emphasizing service, international growth, and technological innovation through its new 'Network 2000,' a $400 million plan to expand, consolidate, and modernize facilities and operations.

Brian D. Finn, director since 2000; partner in Clayton, Dubilier & Rice; former managing director and co-head of mergers and acquisitions at Credit Suisse First Boston.

2000 - Baxter Pharmacy Services in Brunswick, Melbourne, opens.

With more than 50 000 employees, Baxter International, Inc. is considered one of the top 2000 largest public companies in the world, according to Forbes.


Gail D. Fosler, elected 2001; senior vice president and chief economist of The Conference Board, and a director of Unisys Corp., HB Fuller Co., DBS Holdings (Singapore) and trustee of the John Hancock Mutual Funds.


4, 2002; Baxter Lab opens its doors onto medical research.

RWJF Trustee Edward E. Matthews was a director of AIG until 2002.


2005: Trumpf Medical developed the world's first operating room lights with Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology, providing optimal and consistent lighting for surgeons and clinicians.


2008: Voalte's unique mobile platform was designed to simplify communications and improve collaboration, workflows and outcomes across the entire healthcare system.


26, 2011.) He is a director emeritus of Research!America. (Nursing Leadership from Bedside to Boardroom: Opinion Leaders’ Perceptions.

2011: Baxter Ventures launched and became a new way for us to identify and fund healthcare innovation.

In 2011, Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC completed the acquisition of Baxter Healthcare Corporation's US generic injectables business (Multi-Source Injectables or MSI).


In 2012, the company acquired Sigma, a manufacturer of smart infusion pumps, and Synovis Life Technologies, Inc., a leading microsurgery products company.


In 2013, it acquired GAMBRO AB, a global innovator in renal care.


In March 2014, Baxter announced plans to create two separate, independent global healthcare companies—one focused on developing and marketing bio-pharmaceuticals and the other on medical products.

In July 2014, Baxter announced that it was exiting the vaccines business—divesting its commercial vaccine portfolio to Pfizer (with the sale expected to close by the end of the year) and exploring options for its vaccines R&D program, including influenza.


In October 2015, José E. Almeida was named chairman and chief executive officer.


In January 2016 Shire PLC agreed to acquire Baxalta for $32 billion.


2017: New versions of our FLOSEAL and TISSEEL haemostatic agents launched.

In 2017, it acquired Claris Injectables Limited, a generic injectable pharmaceutical company


In December 2019, the company announced it would acquire Seprafilm from Sanofi for $350 million.


In September 2021, Baxter announced it would acquire Hillrom for $12.4 billion.


"Baxter International ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Retrieved June 22, 2022 from

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Baxter International is 92 years old.

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Thomas T. Stallkamp, Donald Baxter and Ralph Falk founded Baxter International.

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