It's been in service since 1874!
The laboratory and the perfumery of the Vatican’s pharmacy are scheduled to be expanded in the coming months, Brother Binish Thomas Mulackal, the director, said recently in L’Osservatore Romano.
Of the 42,000 items offered for sale by the Vatican pharmacy, about 25 are produced and developed in its own laboratory. Among them are phyto-complexes—glycerinated hydro-alcoholic mixtures of medicinal plants—as well as tinctures, six soap fragrances, lavender cologne, an anti-acne lotion, and an after-shave cream.
Their catalogue of products could soon increase. The director of the pharmacy announced that the laboratory—currently “small in size”—will be expanded, and its equipment modernized, within a few months.
The second half of the work—enlarging the perfumery attached to the pharmacy—will start on September 18, he said. The entire restructuring project should be completed before Easter 2018.
The Vatican pharmacy was created in 1874 by Brother Eusebio Ludwig Fronmen of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God, at the request of Cardinal Giacomo Antonelli, Secretary of State at the time.
In 1929, the pharmacy moved into its current premises in the Belvedere Palace. Anyone can go to the pharmacy, as long as they present a prescription and some form of official identification.
It is one of the busiest pharmacies in the world, with 2,000 to 2,500 clients per day.