The Faculty of Pharmacy in Brno is once again a part of Masaryk University

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by Aleš Franc

In 2020, the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Veterinary and Pharmaceutical University Brno was transferred to the framework of Masaryk University (both are located in Brno, Czech Republic). This short communication discusses the background to this event.

Faculty of Pharmacy, Masaryk University (1952 – 1960)
The Faculty of Pharmacy was established at Masaryk University (MU) based on a 1952 government decree. It had eight departments divided into groups. A Garden of Medicinal Plants and a Faculty Pharmacy were also built for the needs of the faculty in Brno. According to statistics from 1956, 75 % of graduates went to work in pharmacies and 5-7 % found employment in the pharmaceutical industry. However, based on a government decree, the faculty was abolished in 1960, and the study was merged with the Faculty of Pharmacy of Comenius University in Bratislava, which has existed since 1952 and became the only pharmaceutical faculty in Czechoslovakia. In 1969, the Faculty of Pharmacy of Charles University was established with its seat in Hradec Králové. In 1991, shortly after the collapse of socialism in Czechoslovakia, the Faculty of Pharmacy in Brno was renewed within the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno.

Faculty of Pharmacy, Masaryk University (2019 – present)
Masaryk University was founded in 1919 as the second Czech university. According to the number of students in accredited study programs, it is the second-largest university in the Czech Republic. It has ten faculties and operates, among others, its Mendel Museum, the Scala University Cinema, the University Center in Telč, and the Antarctic Polar Station. According to QS Top Universities, Masaryk University has long been ranked among the top universities.
In 2019, negotiations were started between MU and University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences on the inclusion of the faculty back into the MU framework. The move took place in July 2020. Teaching continues in the existing premises on the UVPS campus, which MU rented for five years. In the future, the faculty is to become part of the university campus. For current students and employees, the transition to MU means the possibility of cooperation with other faculties, such as the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Science.
Thanks to the transfer to Masaryk University, the Faculty of Pharmacy will be able to use the facilities of teaching hospitals and the close contact with patients; also very strong scientific research facilities with the perspective of further development of pharmaceutical sciences. For example, Masaryk University has a Centre for Medicinal Plants, which has been connected to the Garden of Medicinal Plants since the 1950s, when the faculty was still part of MU. Other pharmaceutical disciplines can significantly enrich the research topics addressed at MU in the direction of biologically active substances of various origins, their production, and especially processing into modern pharmaceutical forms. At the same time, there is scope for the development and commercial exploitation of various activities, especially in the field of preclinical contract research.

Department of Pharmaceutical Technology
Currently, the Faculty of Pharmacy has six departments: Department of Applied Pharmacy, Department of Natural Drugs, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Chemical Drugs and Department of Molecular Pharmacy.
The Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, which is closest to the pharmaceutical industry and whose employee is also the author of this article, operates within the Faculty of Pharmacy. It deals with the formulation, preparation, manufacture, evaluation, protection, and other aspects associated with pharmaceutical dosage forms. Regarding the focus on the pharmaceutical industry, a new program has been opened for cooperation with partners from the commercial sector. Oncomed manufacturing a.s. and medac GmbH became the first general partners.

The above has been processed according to materials available on the websites of the Faculty of Pharmacy MU and Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

Aleš Franc is Associate professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology at Masaryk University