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HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PHARMACY

 

Pharmacy is one of the first scientific subjects taught at the University of Athens. On May 18th, 1835 by Royal Decree was established in Athens the "Theoretical and Practical Didactic Shop of Surgery, Medicine and Pharmacopoeia" and this was exactly two years prior to the actual inauguration of the University of Athens (May 3rd, 1837).

However, "practicing" pharmacists pre-existed in the country. According to the historians, during the pre-Revolutionary years (early 1800s) Greek pharmacy stores were run by medical doctors in show-cases which contained, mostly, first-aid drugs. Other drugs were also sold "in makeshift shops, by the barefoot doctors or by old ladies who practiced therapeutics with tender care towards the ill". Prescription products were also available in the form of antipyretic elixirs, tonic drops, pills, etc.

The first Department of Pharmacy was established in 1843. The courses offered in three didactic semesters were: Physics, Chemistry, Physical History, Medical Subjects, Botany, Pharmacology, Toxicology and their laboratories. Later, Greek and Latin languages were added as well as three years practical experience in a drug store. The duration of studies increased to two academic years.

In 1905 the Department of Pharmacy became part of the School of Medicine until 1922, when it was adjaced to the School of Sciences and remained there until 1982, then it became a Departmentwithin the School of Health Sciences along with Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing. Since 1988 Pharmacy is an independent Department of the University of Athens.

The first Chair was that of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. In 1932 Pharmacognosy was added and in 1979 Pharmaceutical Technology. Each Chair, now Division, operates as an umbrella-system which includes various fields of study. Basic science courses are taught by the School of Sciences while all medical courses are offered to the Pharmacy students by the School of Medicine