HR® Lubricating Jelly first appeared in commerce in 1931, then manufactured by Holland-Rantos Company. In 1983, they were sold to Carter-Wallace who gained market share for HR® Lubricating Jelly until they sold all of their consumer products to Church and Dwight in 2001. The last manufacture of HR® Lubricating Jelly took place in 1999 and by 2002 it had ceased to be seen; this is where the chain would have stopped, had it not been for Wiesman.
A horseman by trade, Jon P. Wiesman used HR® Lubricating Jelly exclusively since the late 1970’s for reproductive management of horses. He developed the very first disposable semen transport system for horses and was the first farm ever to ship semen from Canada and oocytes (female germ cells) for embryo transfer to Colorado State University. HR® was his lubricating jelly of choice due to the high-quality, gentle formula that was sperm and embryo friendly. At the 2001 annual veterinary conference at Texas A&M University, Dickson Varner, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, told Wiesman that HR® was going off the market. Wiesman states, “Varner said, ‘Track down the formula and put it back on the market and change the stars for your children and grandchildren.’ and I went on a mission that took almost six years to accomplish.”
Re-launching HR® Lubricating Jelly was a more complicated feat than expected. Wiesman repeatedly contacted Church and Dwight to obtain the formulation, but the files could not be found. In February of 2007, there was a fire at the Carter building in Trenton, NJ. While searching through the refuge, the process and formula was discovered for the Carter-Wallace medical products in a fireproof cabinet. When the HR® process and formula was found, they called Wiesman. After acquiring the process and formula for the lubricating jelly, Wiesman received a stack of unorganized papers stuck in a file folder. “We compiled the documents and began working with a lab to replicate the formula, but it wasn’t working and we knew there had to be something missing. We went back and searched the basement and found another file that was 75 pages, the total process is 200 pages. Once we had that, we were good to go,” Wiesman states.
HR Pharmaceuticals, Inc. officially re-launched HR® Lubricating Jelly in May of 2011 with the goal to be the premium product in the market for a middle of the road price. It holds medical device registrations with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for ultrasound, transurethral surgical instruments, vaginal, urology and general patient examinations and has several manufacturing and standardization certifications. Also, it is the only domestic-made lubricant registered for Medicare Part B reimbursement and the only Kosher-certified lubricant in the world.
Not only did Wiesman ensure his product exceeded regulations, he sought a distributor that did as well. “I always knew I wanted to work with Cardinal Health due to their integrity and great reputation in the industry. During the recall of a competitor’s lubricating jelly Cardinal Health would not bring our product in because we were not ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certified. That is what inspired us to go through the process to become certified,” he states. Through working with Cardinal Health and their customers, HR Pharmaceuticals has identified opportunities to develop various sizes of sterile, single-dose lubricating jelly for specific procedures. They are currently expanding their portfolio to include a 1.25 ounce pouch and a 5 mL syringe.
Additional sizes may not be the only thing enhancing HR® Pharmaceutical Inc.’s portfolio. The success realized in cultivating the re-birth of HR® Lubricating Jelly has motivated Wiesman to explore the revival of the other HR branded products to develop additional quality consumable products. Perhaps other lost brands will be reappearing in the future.