Brief History of Pharmacy Education in Thailand
The origin of pharmacy education in Thailand can be dated back to 1914 during the reign of King Rama VI. With the initiative of two of the celestial sons of King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V),
Field Marshal Prince Chakrabongse Bhuvanath (Prince of Phitsanulok) and His Royal Highness Prince Rangsit Prayurasakdi (Prince of Chainat) who keenly perceived the country’s lack of pharmacy educational system, proposed to establish pharmacy education in Thailand.
Such initiative was initially led to the establishment of a pharmacy division under the Royal Medical School’s administration. The curriculum at that time was 3 years in length with a certification issued for successful graduates.
The first class consisted of only 4 students. From this humble beginning, pharmacy education continued to evolve with the advancementof Thailand’s healthcare education.
From 1914 – 1942, however, pharmacy was only a part of the Faculty of Medicine under the administration of the Royal Medical School, which was later named Chularongkorn University.
History of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University
University of Medical Sciences era (1943 – 1968)
In 1943, there was an initiative to formally establish a university with the focus on producing healthcare personnel to meet increasing demand of the nation. This led to the birth of the University of Medical Sciences which was formally established in 1943.
Once a part of Chulalongkorn University, Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital, Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Veterinary and the first independent Faculty of Pharmacy was the 4 core faculties that formed the University of Medical Sciences.
From 1943 – 1957, the curriculum was 4 years in length and was later changed to a 5-year curriculum since 1958. Successful graduates were given a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree.
Mahidol University era (1968 – present)
With increasing demand for pharmacists in the country, the Royal Thai Government issued a plan to expand the class size of the Faculty of Pharmacy. However, with space limitation of the existing Faculty at Pathumwan area, a new facility of the Faculty of Pharmacy was needed. At that time, there was an initiative to move the Faculty of Science of the University of Medical Science from Sri-ayudthaya Road to a new location on Rama VI road. The existing facilities of the Faculty of Science on Sri-ayudthaya road was then refurbished to form a new facility and to be used by Faculty of Pharmacy in 1968. Formally established on 7 June 1968, the new facility was initially named “Faculty of Pharmacy at Phyathai Campus” under the administration of the University of Medical Sciences. In 1969, however, the University was renamed with great honor by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej after his own father, His Royal Highness Prince Mahidol of Songkla.
Several changes and rearrangement was also made during this transition period. One of the changes was the separation of the two faculties of pharmacy under the University of Medical Sciences. The Faculty of Pharmacy located at Pathumwan area became a part of Chulalongkorn University while the Faculty of Pharmacy at Phyathai Campus became a part of the newly named Mahidol University. Hence, the official name of this faculty has been the Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University since then.
At the beginning, there were only a total of 12 faculty members who were the founders and pioneers of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University. The first 12 pioneering faculty members are;
1. Prof. Dr. Pradit Hutangkura
2. Prof. Dr. Chanai Sumpantharak
3. Prof. Chawee Bunnag
4. Prof. Sukon Poonpat
5. Prof. Chalao Limpinun
6. Assoc.Prof. Umpai Ungkapintu
7. Assoc.Prof. Sawat Kulma
8. Assoc.Prof. La-iead Thipthabiankarn
9. Assoc.Prof. Payao Muengwongyard
10. Assoc.Prof. Boonjing Kasemsuwan
11. Assoc.Prof. Sermsiri Winijchaikul
12. Assoc.Prof. Linji Wangweera
Initially, Prof. Dr. Chatchawan Osathanon, the newly appointed Rector of Mahidol University, served as the interim Dean for the faculty from 1968 - 1970. Subsequently, Prof. Dr. Pradit Hutangkura, an honorable pharmacist and staff of the Department of Manufacturing Pharmacy, was appointed as the interim Dean during 1970 – 1971 and finally the official Dean of the faculty in 1972. During his service time from 1972- 1983, the faculty enjoyed the exponential growth both in terms of number of faculty members/students and also reputation as the pride of pharmacy education and service in the nation. The contribution and selfless sacrifice of Prof. Dr. Pradit Hutangkura along with other pioneering faculty members laid a strong foundation for what was then a newly established faculty of pharmacy, and now a prestigious faculty of pharmacy in the nation.
The Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University at present time
At present time, the Faculty offers pharmacy education at every level ranging from undergraduate to graduate (both Master and Doctoral levels) degrees in almost every aspects of pharmacy profession.
For undergraduate study, a 6-year curriculum is currently offered.
For graduate study, we offer a wide range of Master and Doctoral degrees encompassing almost every stages of the entire drug development process.