Our History

AmerisourceBergen was built on a legacy of more than 100 years of excellence in pharmaceutical sourcing and wholesale distribution. Today, we impact millions of lives by applying innovation toward everything from the way pharmaceuticals are accessed to the delivery of personalized patient care.


The beginnings of something big

In 1871, Lucien Napoleon Brunswig becomes an apprentice to a U.S. druggist. This begins his journey to becoming a leader in the drug wholesale market. In 1882, Brunswig partners with Wheelock-Finlay, a well-established wholesale drug company. After Finlay’s passing, Brunswig takes on a partner, F. W. Braun in 1887. In 1907, Brunswig buys out Braun, renaming the business The Brunswig Drug Company. After relocating headquarters to Vernon, Calif., the company focuses exclusively on wholesale drug distribution.


Post-World War I

As a result of World War I, Pacific Coast business boomed. Brunswig's sale of drugs reached a record-high level.


Brunswig becomes the first wholesale drug company in the United States to introduce computerized punch cards for keeping track of inventory.


The origins of Bergen Drug Company

Emil P. Martini opens his first retail pharmacy in Hackensack, NJ, in 1928. In 1947, Martini founds the Bergen Drug Co.


The space race begins.


Entering the computer age

In 1959, Bergen Drug Company becomes the first company in America to use computers for inventory control and accounting. By the 1960s, Bergen Drug Company is among the largest wholesale drug distributors in the United States, supplying 5,000 pharmacists and hospitals. 


Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicaid/Medicare into law.


Bergen Drug Company buys Brunswig Drug Company and renames the company Bergen Brunswig Corporation.


Embracing innovation

Bergen Brunswig revolutionizes the industry by pioneering the electronic transmission of purchase orders, reducing distribution time to 24 hours. 


Alco Standard enters distribution

Alco Standard Corporation purchases The Drug House, a major wholesaler operating in Pennsylvania and Delaware. 


Good Neighbor Pharmacy founded to help grow community pharmacies

To support its member independent pharmacies, Bergen Brunswig launches the Good Neighbor Pharmacy program in 1978.


Alco Standard makes many acquisitions, and Kauffman-Lattimer of Columbus, Ohio, becomes a part of the mix to expand distribution reach.


HIV/AIDS crisis begins.


An “intrapreneurial” venture 

Bergen Brunswig starts Alternate Site Distribution—what would grow to become its industry-leading specialty offering. 


Alco Health Services changes name to AmeriSource Health Corporation.


Electronic ordering developed with Apple Computer

The company introduces AccuSource, an electronic ordering system for retail pharmacy customers. Developed in conjunction with Apple Computer, the program represented Apple’s largest multimedia project for a single company.


Expansion into the growing specialty pharmaceuticals market

Through acquisitions and organic growth, Bergen Brunswig expands its presence in specialty pharmaceutical distribution, with service to oncology practices and other specialty physician offices. The company builds on that by developing a suite of manufacturer commercialization services, including third-party logistics, as well as reimbursement and adherence solutions. 


AmeriSource Health Corporation and Bergen Brunswig Corporation announce the two companies have agreed to combine. Together, the two companies become AmerisourceBergen.


Ongoing growth in specialty—both in the U.S. and Canada

Continued acquisitions in the specialty pharmaceuticals market enable AmerisourceBergen to create the country’s largest network of independent oncology practices and establish itself as a national specialty pharmacy. The company deepens the value it creates for pharmaceutical manufacturers by adding market access consulting and commercialization services in Canada.


The Affordable Care Act was enacted.


Going global

AmerisourceBergen becomes the leading provider of specialty logistics for the biopharmaceutical industry through the purchase of World Courier. The move extends the company’s value to the earliest stages of product development and provides a local presence in 50+ countries worldwide.


A landmark agreement with Walgreens Boots Alliance

AmerisourceBergen marks a series of industry firsts: First wholesaler to be trusted by a national retail chain to manage daily distribution of brand, generic and specialty products; first global wholesaler and pharmacy partnership to create a platform for more efficient and effective product sourcing.


A big move into animal health

AmerisourceBergen enters the animal health industry through the acquisition of MWI Veterinary Supply, a leader in product distribution and operational services for the companion and production animal health markets.


Expanding distribution footprint

AmerisourceBergen completes the acquisition of H. D. Smith, the largest independent wholesaler in the U.S. This move enhanced and expanded our distribution network scale and also strengthened AmerisourceBergen’s commitment to supporting the value of community pharmacies.


Welcoming an industry-leading European business

The acquisition of Alliance Healthcare from key partner Walgreens Boots Alliance is completed, expanding our reach and solutions in pharmaceutical distribution and global manufacturer services. Joining together with Alliance Healthcare advances AmerisourceBergen’s ability to provide innovative and global healthcare solutions for patients around the world.


Celebrating 20 years of AmerisourceBergen

September 2021 marked the twentieth anniversary of AmerisourceHealth and Bergen Brunswig Corporation merging to form AmerisourceBergen. Our leadership team celebrated by ringing the September 1st opening bell at the NYSE. We are so proud of the impact we’ve made in the healthcare industry and remain committed to our promise of moving healthcare forward for years to come.