In the late 1970's a pharmaceutical company took possession of a former weaving mill (1892) in Laren (province of Noord-Holland), where many skilful hands had been working until the year 1920. This was an initiative of Ray Muller and two business partners. The core business consisted of parallel imports of branded drugs and marketing generic drugs.
The premises, in the Laren town centre, came under the protection of the National Heritage Buildings and are still in the hands of the Muller family.
However, the activities in the field of drug imports and distribution were sold at the end of 1987.
In the early 1990's, when Patrick Muller returned from the USA, a business started importing and marketing contact lens fluids and eye drops under the banner of Lapis Lazuli International, a EU Limited Liability Company.
It was only a modest start employing only two staff, one of whom was Mark Berkouwer, the right hand and deputy of Patrick Muller and responsible for matters such as purchases, logistics, organisation and registration, who has seen all the changes in the organisation and expansion of activities over the years.
Shortly after the restart in the "Olde Weaving Mill" in Laren, the Company relocated to Baarn and started a number of activities in the field of vitamins and drugs. These activities were bundled in a Company by the name of Sanmed BV.
A field organisation was set up to introduce specific food supplements with family doctors and specialists.
After five years the Company had outgrown the business premises in Baarn and since the decision was made to start the in-house production of contact lens fluids, another relocation was in the pipeline.
The Company moved into a large building with ample space for clean room production and separate storage of eye products and other selfcare health products.
Most of the sales are made in countries outside the Netherlands; exports are still increasing while Patrick Muller and Mark Berkouwer are busy exploring new and far-away markets. They are also looking at the world's biggest market, the USA.
Ray Muller senior developed some international joint-ventures, which are beginning to pay off.
Much time and money has been put into the development of innovative products. As a result, several multinational enterprises are manufacturing the Lapis Lazuli International NV products under licence.