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The beginnings of the pharmaceutical production in Serbia were connected with the development and manufacturing of vaccines against variola and rabies created in 1900 by Pasteur's Institute from Nis. In 1929 this institution was moved to the hill Torlak (Belgrade) where it still operates.

Industrial manufacturing of pharmaceuticals in Serbia actually started only after the World War II, but it started in a right way. Serbia was, for example, among the first manufacturers of penicillin in the world. The company GALENIKA from Zemun, the producer of penicillin and other pharmaco-chemicals, as well as a large diapason of medicaments, was the first pharmaceutical company that started production in Serbia and passed a long way from a workshop for production of medicaments with 43 employees in 1945, when it was founded, to the today's stock company with more than 4,000 of employees.

During the 1950's and the 1960's several enterprises for production of medicaments, pharmaceutical raw materials and medical appliances were founded, such as ZDRAVLJE from Leskovac (started in 1953), HEMOFARM from Vrsac (1960), and JUGOREMEDIJA from Zrenjanin (1964). Later, in 1976, one of the currently more modern domestic pharmaceutical factories was built up in the town of Sabac and named ZORKA-PHARMA.

Pharmaceutical industry of Serbia survived stresses stemming from the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia and imposing of the UN sanctions. Domestic pharmaceuticals companies took over a part of manufacturing assortment of medicaments from the disintegrated republics and mostly managed to overcome the problems of imports of raw materials, even struggling for new export markets.

The following quantities of pharmaceutical active substances and prepared formulations were manufactured by the local companies in 2004:

·      Vitamins and their preparations                  401.3 tons

·      Insulin                                                                        3.1 tons

·      Other hormones and their derivatives         10.6 tons

·      Prepared drugs based on hormones          364.9 tons

·      Tetracycline and its derivatives                       5.3 tons

·      Other antibiotics and their derivatives       47.2 tons

·      Prepared drugs based on antibiotics        947.8 tons

·      Prepared drugs based on sulfonamides      48.5 tons

·      Analgesics                                                           900.0 tons

·      Prepared drugs for digestive tract                76.8 tons

·      Antihyperintensives                                         106.3 tons

·      Hypnotics                                                             108.8 tons

·      Psychotherapeutics                                           74.8 tons

·      Antiarytmics                                                       579.9 tons

·      Antireumatics                                                    238.4 tons

·      Anesthetics                                                        191.9 tons

·      Other pharmaceutical preparations      9,707.3 tons

·      Serums & vaccines for human use                   1.3 tons

·      Serums & vaccines for veterinary use           87.0 tons

Currently, the most successful domestic pharmaceutical company is HEMOFARM. This company owns several factories located both in Serbia & Montenegro and abroad, and recently it took over the above mentioned company ZORKA-PHARMA.





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