Pharmacy During the Great Patriotic War

  • Authors: Ushakova A.1, Semenihina Е.1
  • Affiliations:
    1. Voronezh State Medical University
  • Pages: 223-225
  • URL:

Cite item


This article is devoted to the activities of pharmaceutical workers during the Second World War. The memory of the war heroes and their exploits will always be relevant. The activity of pharmaceutical workers to provide medical equipment during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 is analyzed. The characteristics of the production activities of sanitary warehouses and medical-sanitary battalions are given, attention is paid to the work of pharmacists and pharmacists in besieged Leningrad. The significant contribution of Z.V.Ermolyeva was noted, thanks to which a laboratory for the production of native penicillin was organized. The purpose of the article is to educate the future generation about people who devoted themselves to the medical field in wartime. . The materials were publications, literature.

Full Text

In 2023, it will be 78 years since the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, a war that in its scale, destruction and consequences had no equal in the history of mankind. This war radically changed the geopolitical picture of the world, laid the foundations for its security, and served as an impetus for the creation of the United Nations. The memory of the Great Patriotic War and its heroes is kept with trepidation in every Russian family and is passed down from generation to generation.
During the difficult time of the struggle for the freedom of our country and its people, medicine did not stand aside, pharmacists and pharmacists also contributed, both at the front and in the rear. Despite all the difficulties and hardships, they showed labor valor and courage, sacrificed their lives in order to bring the day when our country will breathe in the smell of Victory.
When war was declared, more than half of all pharmacists went to the front. Most of them had secondary pharmaceutical education and had never served in the army, although they were conscripted. Pharmacists and pharmacists who were in the ranks of the Red Army carried out their activities within the framework of the medical supply system of the troops. Then the duties of the pharmacist included the skills of both the professional and the economic part: they kept records, received medicines, sterilized solutions, washed pharmacy dishes. Military requirements for the preparation and use of medicines were mastered in the process of work.
E.I. Smirnov wrote about the role of pharmacy at the front: "The availability of the necessary list of medicines and dressings, as well as surgical instruments, plays an extremely important role in restoring the health of wounded and sick soldiers and officers. Medical workers cannot take a single successful step in their activities without them"
In the medical supply facilities of the active army, especially in pharmacies of the military stages of medical evacuation and military field hospitals, it was necessary to build a suitable place for work directly in dilapidated buildings, sheds and other adapted premises. According to the memoirs of V.A.Tkachenko, who at that time was the head of the pharmacy of the medical and sanitary battalion, dugouts and ditches left by the troops were often used, or two adjacent communicating dugouts were torn off, one of which had a reception and assistant room, the other had a warehouse, a washing room, and a distillation cube and a sterilizer were located near the dugout. Thanks to such devices, it was possible to establish the manufacture of the most popular medicines: injections of novocaine solution, isotonic solutions of glucose and sodium chloride, anti-shock liquids, morphine solutions. It was possible to create simple powders and ointments, as well as vitamin-containing infusions, using vegetable raw materials.
Pharmaceutical workers of medical and sanitary battalions found themselves in a particularly difficult situation during the hostilities, where a large number of surgical operations were performed, and high qualification of employees was required. Therefore, pharmacies of medical and sanitary battalions directed their efforts to create blood-substituting and anti-shock fluids.
In the treatment of victims, continuous improvement of existing knowledge was required, but it was also necessary to master new technologies for the manufacture of medicines with new substances. Pharmacists and pharmacists had to master such techniques "on the go", in the absence of the necessary instructions and instructions. So, in 1944, a laboratory for the production of native penicillin was organized on the 1st Baltic Front with the direct participation of Z.V.Ermolyeva.
Not only at the front, but also in cities resisting the onslaught of fascist invaders, the labors of pharmaceutical workers did not go unnoticed. In besieged Leningrad, even in the most difficult periods of 1941-1942, the work of enterprises for the production of medical products continued. With the beginning of the blockade, an organization for mass procurement and collection of blood was launched in the city, in which, along with medical representatives, pharmacists and pharmacists participated. As V.V. Putin noted, "during the blockade, residents of the city donated 144 tons of blood."
Due to the sharp reduction in the number of pharmacists and pharmacists in cities, as many of them were sent to the front, pharmacies were ordered to provide not only pharmaceutical, but also first aid to citizens affected by bombing and artillery shelling. When the hospitals were opened, the management, together with pharmaceutical workers, arranged auxiliary vegetable gardens for growing medicinal plants and vegetables for the wounded and sick.
It is important for the current generation, including pharmaceutical workers, to understand and honor the work of their colleagues during the Great Patriotic War. Many pharmacists, pharmacists and other medical supply specialists were awarded orders and medals for their selfless work and success in organizing the provision of medical equipment to the troops.


About the authors

Anna Ushakova

Voronezh State Medical University

ORCID iD: 0009-0002-1946-465X

student of the 1st year of the Faculty of Pharmacy

Russian Federation, Studentskaya str., 10, Voronezh,Russia, 394036,

Еlena Semenihina

Voronezh State Medical University

Author for correspondence.

senior teacher, chair of foreign languages

Studentskaya str., 10, Voronezh,Russia, 394036,


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