History of the Czech Pharmaceutical Society

The history of the CzPS dates back to 1871 when the Society of Czech Pharmacists was established. It was founded by the students of pharmacy and pharmacy employees with the support of several owners of pharmacies. One of them, the pharmacist PhMr. Alexandr Terš had been elected the first Chairman of the Society but he resigned shortly afterwards. He was followed by Dr. Pharm. Alois Jandouš (1838–1893), a most remarkable Czech pharmacist of the 19th century, a pioneer in the Czech-led pharmaceutical science.  Dr. Alois Jandouš transformed the originally student and employee based society into a specialist and scientific society, open to all members of the pharmaceutical guild. In 1875, he took initiative and renamed the society to Pharmaceutical Society in Prague. Yet, soon another change in the name of the Society happened, at that time chaired by PhMr. Heřman Rüdiger, and ever since 1899, the organisation has been known as the Czech Society of Pharmacists (ČLS). Under the leadership of many outstanding pharmacists, the society successfully flourished in the 19th century. The meetings were held with various expert lectures, the members of the society took part in international congresses and the highlight was the organisation of the 2nd International Pharmaceutical Exposition in Prague in 1896. The professional development of future and practising pharmacists was enabled by the pharmaceutical aspirants school, which was run by the society, also by publishing the first Czech pharmaceutical compendium, The Apothecary Textbook (1899) and not least by the publication of the Journal of Czech Pharmacists (founded in 1882). The Society further continued its publication activities in the 20th century. In 1905 the society had published Příspěvky k dějinám lékárnictví na Moravě a ve Slezsku (Contributions to the History of Pharmacy in Moravia and Silesia) by PhMr. Emil Šedivý, who is regarded as the founder of the Czech pharmaceutical historiography. PhMr. Emil Šedivý was a Chairman of the society from 1911 to 1912 for the first time and due to his efforts, the society was accepted as an associated member of the newly founded International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). In 1912, ČLS merged with the Organisation of Czech Pharmacists and discontinued its professional and scientific activities.


During WW I, Dr. Šedivý and other ČLS Board members prepared the renewal of the society. In December 1919, the Czechoslovak Society of Pharmacists (ČSLS) was founded. The first Chairman, PhMr. Vladimír Kubrt was later replaced in the post yet again by PhMr. Emil Šedivý in 1922, who also contributed a financial support to the Society. The following year he passed away and the society almost ceased to exist.

The Society on the brink of collapse was restored by a new Chairman, Prof. PhDr. PhMr. František Plzák (1877–1944), being the first in the sequence of university Professors in this role. Under the leadership of Prof. Plzák, the society had adopted new scientific goals, whereupon pharmacists of different pharmaceutical sciences and social strata were involved. It also meant the renewal of educational activities and publishing the Journal of Czechoslovak Pharmacists with original articles, scientific papers, lectures and reviews. In 1924, ČSLS became a full member of FIP. As a result of a series of negotiations, in 1931 the Federation of Slavonic Pharmacists was founded. Due to the difficulties caused by World War II, Prof. Plzák resigned in 1941, and was replaced by Prof. PhDr. PhMr. Oldřich Tomíček (1891–1953). In 1942, the Society (under the Protectorate renamed to Czech Society of Pharmacists) became part of the Central Union of Pharmacists (ÚSL), which embraced all pharmaceutical organisations of the Czech lands. The Journal of Czech Pharmacists had become a scientific supplement of the only Czech pharmaceutical journal, the Pharmaceutical Bulletin (Lékárnický věstník). Following WW II, all efforts to restore the independent ČSLS had failed. In 1948, the authority was taken over by ÚSL. The Action Committee of a number of protesting pharmacists had decided to leave the Union in 1950, resulting in the dissolution of the Czechoslovak Society of Pharmacists. Under the restricted circumstances, the publication of the Czech Pharmaceutical Journal had had come to an end, as well.

Due to the political situation unfavourable to the foundation of new independent professional bodies, the pharmacists from members of academia, in 1951, requested for a membership in the Czechoslovak Medical Association of Jan Evangelista Purkyně (ČSLS JEP) founded in 1949. In the same year, Prof. Tomíček became the Chairman of the newly established Pharmaceutical Section of ČSLS JEP. In 1952, the Section started to publish a journal entitled Czechoslovak Pharmacy. Next, fundamental changes were brought about in 1968, when a brief period of political liberalization allowed for a transformation of the Pharmaceutical Section of ČSLS JEP into the Czechoslovak Pharmaceutical Society. Further, the federalization of the Czechoslovak state led to the formation of the Czech Pharmaceutical Society (CzPS) and the Slovak Pharmaceutical Society, both under the umbrella of the Czechoslovak Pharmaceutical Society of ČSLS JEP (ČSFS). The ČSFS was chaired by the chairpersons of the two national societies, taking turns in leadership on a two-year term basis. Initially ČFS was formed of ten specialist sections (natural drugs, synthetic drugs, biologic medicines, pharmaceutical technology, pharmaceutical analysis, organisation and management of pharmacy, history of pharmacy, hospital pharmacists, military pharmacists, industrial pharmacists) and ten regional societies of pharmacists (Brno, České Budějovice, Olomouc, Karlovy Vary, Gottwaldov, Ostrava, Ústí nad Labem, Hradec Králové, Plzeň, Praha). Until the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in December 31, 1992, the CzPS had contributed to the scientific development in the area of pharmacy as well as to raising professionalism of pharmacists, namely by organizing national and international conferences, publication activities. The formation of a new Section of Clinical Pharmacy in 1977 demonstrated that the CzPS reflected current trends, and further supported the development of pharmacy.

A whole new era commenced in 1993, when the legal successor of ČSFS became the Czech Pharmaceutical Society of the Czech Medical Association JEP in the Czech Republic. As before, at present the CzPS is truly committed to respecting the traditions and thrives to maintain the continuity with its predecessors in order to attain its mission with success.

List of the Chairmen of the CzPS and previous organisations

1871 PhMr. Alexandr Terš
1871–1882 Dr. pharm. Alois Jandouš
1882 prof. Dr. pharm. August Bělohoubek
1883–1885 PhMr. Jan Štěpánek
1886–1888 PhMr. Jindřich Tesánek
1889–1891 PhMr. František Schnöbling
1892–1894 Dr. pharm. Karel Fragner
1895–1899 PhMr. Heřman Rüdiger
1900–1905 PhMr. Ota Schreiber
1906–1910 PhMr. Heřman Rüdiger
1911–1912 PhMr. Emil Šedivý
1919–1921 PhMr. Vladimír Kubrt
1922–1923 PhMr. Emil Šedivý
1924–1941 prof. PhDr. PhMr. František Plzák
1941–1948 prof. PhDr. PhMr. Oldřich Tomíček
1951–1953 prof. PhDr. PhMr. Oldřich Tomíček
1953–1957 doc. RNDr. PhMr. Svatopluk Marek
1957–1973 prof. RNDr. PhMr. Stanislav Škramovský, DrSc.
1973–1986 doc. RNDr. PhMr. Miroslav Salava, CSc.
1986–1990 prof. RNDr. PhMr. Jan Solich, CSc.
1990–2002 doc. RNDr. Pavel Komárek, Ph.D.
2003–2014 prof. RNDr. Luděk Jahodář, CSc.
od 2015 prof. PharmDr. Martin Doležal, Ph.D.

Compiled using the following references:

  • DRÁBEK Pavel a HANZLÍČEK, Zdeněk. 130 let České farmaceutické společnosti. Solutio: příruční kniha pro lékárny. Praha: Medon, 2002/2003, 307–315.
  • Drábek, Pavel a Hanzlíček, Zdeněk. Farmacie ve dvacátém století. Praha: Společnost pro dějiny věd a techniky, 2005. 148 s. Práce z dějin techniky a přírodních věd, sv. 6. Česká technika na pozadí světového vývoje; 3.