Our History


For over 100 years, we’ve been part of the promise of the Canadian health system, and are proud to help in the delivery of consistent, cutting-edge care from coast to coast. The remarkable improvements and innovations of the past century have resulted in people getting the medications they need, when they need them. Through this, we have helped Canadians provide and access better health care.

Our history since 1905




Since 1905

Building a National Case 

Since 1905



1905: the National Drug and Chemical Company of Canada is incorporated.

1906: the newly formed corporation initiates the operational integration of 19 wholesale drug companies and 13 retail stores. It is headquartered in Montreal.

National Drug is created in Manitoba with the purchase of Drugs Limited. Branches are opened in Winnipeg, Regina and Saskatoon.

Canadian Drug Company is acquired in the Maritimes and is merged with the Halifax, Sydney and Saint John subsidiaries to form National-Canadian Drug.


1960 – 1990


1960 – 1990

Consolidation for the future 




The Eastern division and Estey & Curtis merge their operations under the new name of Eastern Drug Services (EDS), and in turn acquire the Halifax-based pharmaceutical distributor, Provincial Wholesale Drugs. Through these acquisitions, EDS becomes the largest pharmaceutical wholesaler in the Atlantic Provinces.

National Drug acquires Western Drug in British Columbia, McMurdo Wholesale Drug Company in St. John's, and Top Drug Mart Distribution in Toronto.

1964: M. Loeb acquires a controlling interest and in 1977 Provigo takes control of M. Loeb and its subsidiaries.

1980: the corporate name is changed to National Drug Limited.

National Drug Limited acquires Southwestern Drug Limited of British Columbia.

1987: National Drug Limited changes its name to Medis Health and Pharmaceutical Services.


1991 – 2000


1991 – 2000

Accelerated Growth




1991: McKesson Corporation in San Francisco acquires a 100 percent interest in Medis Health and Pharmaceutical Services.

1992: Medis Health and Pharmaceutical Services acquires Focus Pharmaceutical Group in Quebec.

1996: McKesson Outsource Logistics is created to offer third party logistics to Canadian manufacturers in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and cosmetics industries.

1997: Medis Health and Pharmaceutical Services acquire the distribution services of Drug Trading Company.


2001 – Present


2001 – Present

The 21st Century 

2001 – Present



2002: the McKesson Canada name is adopted and a new brand is introduced.

2004: McKesson Specialty is created to develop services in the emerging specialty pharmaceutical market.

2004: McKesson Canada creates McKesson Logistics Solutions.

2004: McKesson Canada adds the PACMED line of high-speed unit dose packagers to its automation offering through a related asset acquisition of a Montréal-based provider.

2005: McKesson Canada purchases the assets of Phase 4 Health, a Canadian company that offers consulting, clinical trials and patient support services to the pharmaceutical industry.

2008: McKesson Canada acquires Groupe PharmEssor Inc. (owner of the PROXIM and ProxiMed brands) — a banner providing services to 270 independently-owned pharmacies.

2009: McKesson Canada enters into a formal partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Health to provide residents of the province with a 24-hour, seven day a week Telecare service, HealthLink 811.

2012: McKesson Corporation completes the acquisition of the independent banner and franchise businesses of Katz Group Canada Inc. 

2015: McKesson Canada acquires Remedy’s Rx banner, the fastest-growing independent pharmacy network in Canada.

2016: McKesson Corporation completes the acquisition of Rexall Health, allowing McKesson to serve a broad range of pharmaceutical care and ensure choice to consumers.

2017: McKesson Specialty changes its name to McKesson Specialty Health.

2017: McKesson Corporation acquires GMD Distribution Inc.

2017: McKesson Canada announces the acquisition of Uniprix, a destination of choice for health care in Quebec.

2017: McKesson Corporation acquires Well.ca, bringing an offering of online commerce capabilities and a digital experience to its retail assets.