The official Day of the pharmacist in our country appeared quite recently. The proposal to establish a new professional holiday was adopted in 2014 at the All-Russian Congress of Pharmaceutical Workers. The final decision was approved on 15.05.2021 by Resolution No. 736, which was signed by the Chairman of the Government of Russia Mikhail Mishustin.
The signing of the Decree by the head of the Government of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Mishustin, was a kind of response to a request from the All-Russian Public Organization “All-Russian People’s Front”. This was the organization when the idea of establishing a new professional holiday was born, called on to emphasize the significant role of pharmaceutical industry workers in the development of the country and solving issues of preserving the health of the nation. The corresponding letter was sent by the ONF to the Russian Government.
The date of the celebration of the Day of the Pharmaceutical Worker was chosen with reference to the historical date – May 19, 1581, when, during the reign of Ivan IV the Terrible, the first pharmacy in Russia was opened, where workers were engaged in the sale and manufacture of medicines.
Specialists from abroad were invited for the Upper Sovereign Pharmacy, and for almost a century it was the only legal place for the manufacture and sale of medicines in Russia. At first, the Upper Pharmacy produced medicines exclusively for the Tsar and his family members. Due to Ivan the Terrible’s constant illnesses, work at the pharmacy did not stop even at night, which was stipulated in the invitation to the service. For almost a century, the legal manufacture and sale of medicines remained the monopoly of the Sovereign Pharmacy, and it worked exclusively for the royal family needs. Already in Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov (1613-1645) period, medicines from this pharmacy could be used not only by relatives of the tsar, but also by nobles from his entourage, as well as clerks. More and more medicines prepared by the pharmacy were sent to the needs of the army.
And in 1672, a Lower pharmacy appeared in the capital, whose functions included procurement, preparation, storage of medicines, supply of the treasury with them and at the same time “free sale of medicines of different ranks to people” according to doctors’ prescriptions. In 1701, Peter I issued a decree on the organization of private pharmacies in Moscow, by the end of the century there were about a hundred of them in the country. By 1914, almost five thousand pharmacies were operating in Russia.
Last year, on May 19, on the day of the pharmaceutical worker in Russia, a round date was celebrated – 440 years since the appearance of the first pharmacy in our country.
Today, high-level professionals work in the Russian pharmaceutical industry, creating drugs for the treatment and prevention of all kinds of diseases. The industry is developing dynamically, production technologies are being modernized, new high-tech enterprises are being opened. The capabilities of the Russian pharmaceutical industry were especially evident during the pandemic of a new coronavirus infection. Currently, only domestic vaccines are used in Russia to prevent coronavirus disease and its complications. These are “Sputnik V”, “Sputnik Lite”, “EpiVacCorona” and “KoviVak”. The drug “Areplivir” was developed for the need of hospital therapy. Thus, due to the efforts of pharmaceutical workers, the necessary vaccines and medicines capable of protecting the health and life of Russian citizens were created in the shortest possible time.
On Pharmacist’s Day, everyone who cares about our health deserves words of gratitude — these are pharmacy workers and pharmacy points, medical scientists, pharmacists and other employees of the pharmaceutical industry.
Pharmacists play a huge role in improving the health of people around the world: they help to get the maximum benefit from taking medications, develop safe and effective drugs that save lives and change them for the better. It is wonderful that there is a special holiday that evaluates work on merit and helps to raise the importance of the pharmacist’s profession in the Healthcare.

Head of the Pharmaceutical Department of the IFC,
Ph.D. Kondratova Y.A.