Friars Minor Pharmacy

The celebration of the 700th anniversary of continuous work of the Friars Minor Pharmacy within the Franciscan Monastery in Dubrovnik was held on 10th and 11th November 2017. As a part of marking that exceptional jubilee Croatian Pharmaceutical Society organised on 10th November in Dubrovnik the historical-scientific symposium under the title “700 Years of Pharmacy Practice in Dubrovnik”. It encompassed the past and recent, very rich, history of pharmacy and health culture in Dubrovnik, the city that in the past has been a model example of good health care organization. 

This anniversary is exceptionally significant not only for Croatian pharmacy but also for our overall health care system and culture, as proven by the high auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia, relevant Ministries and the presence of the President of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

The importance of this jubilee greatly surpasses the frontiers of our country, because the uninterrupted operation of the Friars Minor Pharmacy over seven centuries is unique worldwide, which is a well-known fact also outside Croatia. Namely, there are records of pharmacies both in Europe and Croatia even before the foundation of this pharmacy, but not a single one has lasted until this day. Another specific feature of this monastery pharmacy is that, during its 700 years, it has been providing services not only to monks but also to citizens. The importance of this anniversary, as well as of the very Friars Minor Pharmacy, for global pharmacy is also evidenced by the attendance at this Symposium and celebration of the leading people from international pharmaceutical associations – International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU).

This pharmacy developed gradually within the Franciscan Monastery of Friars Minor, from a cabinet with dried plants, over medicines prepared under the influence of alchemy, up to today’s pharmacy, supplied with medical products for up-to-date pharmacotherapy, capable of providing comprehensive pharmaceutical care to the local population as well as to numerous tourists who visit it every day. A special feature of the pharmacy is that in it some galenic preparations are still prepared according to the traditional prescriptions of capable Franciscan pharmacists who used to work there. These mostly cosmetic preparations, based on natural constituents without many synthetic additives, are highly estimated and widely sold to tourists. Letters of appreciation and customer satisfaction from all parts of the world are received by the pharmacy on a daily basis.

The Croatian Pharmaceutical Society, the principal organizer of the Symposium, has always attached great importance to the history of the pharmacy profession, and thus to such significant events. This is evidenced by the fact that it also organized the celebration of the 650th anniversary of the Friars Minor Pharmacy in 1967, at which occasion a symposium was held as well, and a memorial publication was issued. In these days of fast living and new technologies, we must not forget to appreciate the achievements of our predecessors and the general importance of the pharmacy profession in the past. We should preserve and carry on their tradition so as to ensure a bright future for pharmacy.

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