1951 – Kőbányai Gyógyszerárugyár
Nationalisation means the acquisition of privately owned property by the state and the property rights related to it. After 1945, large-scale collectivisation of private property outside the scope of public services began in Hungary without any compensation. Since the nationalisation of companies had been prepared in complete secrecy, the change came as a great surprise to those affected by it. This process reached our Company in March 1948. The name of the company changed from Richter Gedeon Vegyészeti Gyár R.T. to Richter Gyógyszer és Vegyészeti NV. However, the new name did not exist for long, because soon, in July 1951, Richter’s name would be completely deleted from the company’s name for political reasons. For the next nearly forty years, our Company continued to operate under the name of Kőbányai Gyógyszerárugyár (Kőbánya Pharmaceutical Factory).
A Dorogi Szenfeldolgozo Vegyipari Vallalat szenleparlouzeme 1960 as evek
1960s – the Dorog Coal Processing Chemical Company
Richter’s opportunities for expansion in the capital, Budapest, were considerably restricted by the end of the 1960s, as no further territorial expansion was possible in District 10. The central intention of rural industrial development luckily coincided with the plan to merge the two companies. Instead of uneconomical coal processing, this opened the possibility for Dorog to introduce modern pharmaceutical raw material production, for which the plant provided suitable conditions with its steam, water, electricity, roads and sewerage network.
B12 fermentle szeparatorok Dorogon
Vitamin B12 production
Extracting vitamin B12 has been a difficult technological challenge for decades. Small amounts of active agents had to be extracted from large amounts of difficult-to-handle liquid. During fermentation, B12 is formed within the bacterial cell, so it must be released and separated from the large amount of ballast material during processing. Richter’s staff developed cost-effective manufacturing processes for a number of vitamin B12 derivatives.
Automatic packaging machine
The introduction of innovations, which that increase the efficiency of production, has always been a priority at Richter. The phasing out of manual labour was an investment in automation and mechanisation. In 1959, Richter was the first in the industry to introduce an automatic packaging machine for cellophane foil.
1960 Ccsomagolo uzem
1960s – Packaging plant
A lot of workflows had been automated with machines by the 1960s, which accelerated production at the same time. However, there were still several steps in the production of particular products that had to be done by hand. One of them was the workflow shown in the picture, the packaging of medicine vials in a paper box.
Building on the increasing role of herbal medicines, the extremely favourable domestic conditions for growing herbs and the expansion of Richter’s institutional technological development activities, the specialists of our Company began to address the industry-scale extraction processes of herbs in depth. Pharmacist Kálmán Szász, head of the Plant Chemistry Research Laboratory, recommended that the experimental extraction equipment suitable for this task should be manufactured on site. With the help of Dr István Takács, a mechanical engineer, and his team, experiments to create the equipment soon began. By 1960, a highly efficient ‘vibration’ version of the U-extractor had been developed. The solution received several patents. This ingenious and efficient extraction device has been used to extract the active agents of several herbal drugs and has later been used for dried animal organs as well.
1977 – Cavinton
One of the most outstanding results of original research was the world-famous product Cavinton, launched in 1977 after more than twenty years of research and development work.
1970 Kadar gyarlatogatasa
1970s – János Kádár’s factory visit
János Kádár, a politician and party leader, was a leading figure in the political and economic life of Hungary for decades in the second half of the 20th century. The decades of his rule are referred to by succeeding generations as the Kádár regime. The most successful years of his career were the 1970s. He promoted his regime, ideas and person through organised propaganda and visited a number of large corporations, factories and plants for this purpose during his time. His visits were always accompanied by great media interest, with weekly and daily newspapers constantly reporting where he was going.
The brigade movement started in Hungary in 1958 as a new form of socialist labour competition. Instead of previous individual results and outstanding efficiency in production examined on a person-by-person basis, the creation of self-motivating teams was promoted at national level, where the team’s results and productivity exceeded the total results achieved by individuals, thanks to a cooperative spirit, and the one-man heroes of work were replaced by hard-working teams.
The primary goal of the socialist brigades so created was to fulfil the plan set at the beginning of the year, to reach the target volume set and, if possible, to exceed it. However, in addition to performing day-to-day tasks in work competition, the teams maintained a close relationship with one another. There were regular joint leisure activities, including collective commemorations on various holidays, and regular networking.
Pillich Lajos es Varga Edit
Lajos Pillich and Edit Varga
The dedicated and persistent work of Lajos Pillich, Technical Director (later to become Honorary Chairman for life) and CEO Edit Varga helped Richter through the difficult decades of nationalisation and centrally planned economy. Under their leadership, the factory not only survived this period, but also developed into a thriving company recognised again.
1980s – Community service
For decades before the change of regime, community service was a common and regular practice. It was mostly typical of state-owned factories and plants. Employees worked on certain pre-designated Saturdays, for which they were not paid. The work done on these Saturdays served public good for the benefit of society.
1981 – Fabulon
The production of cosmetics at Richter dates back to 1965, but real breakthrough came in 1971, when an independent Cosmetics Research Laboratory was established at the Dorog factory unit. The key to the Company’s success, in addition to the meagre selection of Hungarian cosmetics and their rather poor quality, was that the products contained new types of ingredients, including natural active agents. Initially, mainly vitamins were used, soon to be followed by herbs. High quality, a wide product range, as well as great marketing had borne fruit. Fabulon had become the most popular cosmetics brand in Hungary, and had won Hungarian and foreign awards. In the 1980s, the production of cosmetics at Richter became an independent segment.
1985 – Richtofit
The herbal products introduced under the brand name Richtofit were specially designed for athletes and people doing sports. First-class athletes and researchers at the former College of Physical Education helped the Company to finalise the product. Several gold medallists of the 1988 Olympics (pentathletes, swimmers) took part in the promotion of the products.