The International Pharmacy Vienna – a business with a history

The history of the Internationale Apotheke (International Pharmacy Vienna) has it’s beginning as early as 1869! On February 11th of that same year the royal ministry prompts the royal ethnarchy to authorize the construction of a pharmacy at any location between Parkring-Street and Burgring-Street in Vienna’s city center.

Shortly after, on August 7th 1869, the municipality passes a decree, followed by a call for proposals for the erection of said new pharmacy. The license to do so is finally granted to Franz Wisinger, former tenant of a pharmacy in Lichtenthal.

On August 16th 1870 the royal ministry officially awards the concession and passes decree Z.105.851, allowing Franz Wisinger to open his business on the location of Palais Wertheim, Kärntner Ring 18, at the corner of Schwarzenbergplatz.

The ceremonial opening of the new pharmacy “Zum Goldenen Adler” (“Golden Eagle”) is held on September 26th 1870.

In October 1875, Dr. Alois Philipp Hellmann, publisher of the pharmaceutical newspaper “Pharmazeutische Post”, takes over as administrator of the pharmacy and remains as such until the death of Franz Wisinger in November 1890. After the passing of Franz Wisinger, his widow Olga Wisinger-Florian, installs the pharmacist Ph.Mr.Sigmund Schlager as caretaker of the company. Dr. Hellmann opens his own business in Hetzendorf.

Mrs. Olga Wisinger-Florian retains the ownership of the pharmacy, but chooses to devote her attention to painting. She lives to become a celebrated artist, known beyond the borders of Vienna, and is awarded the Golden Cross of Merit in 1918.

After the passing of Ph. Schlager, Ph. Mr. Johann Gans follows in his footsteps as administrator. Ph. Gans signs a lease agreement for 6 years, but dies an early death before the expiration of the contract, leaving Ph. Mr. Eduard Bernt to take over as curator.

Ph. Bernt relocates the pharmacy to the opposite side of the Ringstrasse, to its current premises at Kärntner Ring 17.

Shortly before the death of Olga Wisinger-Florian, ownership of the business is taken over by Dr. phil. et Mr. pharm. Arnold Stumpf. He is the one to apply for the renaming of the company into “International Pharmacy” in 1925.

His reasoning:

“(…)My pharmacy is situated at Kärtnerring 17, at the corner of Schwarzenbergplatz, directly next to and opposite of all those hotels, who have the most foreign guests. Them being: Grand-Hotel, Hotel Bristol and Hotel Imperial. My pharmacy is visited by far more foreign customers, of all nations, as by Viennese. If it weren’t for the foreigners I would not be able to pay my taxes. (…) All pharmacists, even the young ladies at the cash register, as well as my office staff speak foreign languages. (…) I own most foreign Pharmacopeias, as well as other contrivances, and other Viennese pharmacies regularly ask us to prepare international prescriptions for them.

My stock is full with many a foreign specialty and mine is one of the few pharmacies which owns a permanent permission for the import of foreign medication. In 1924 I spent Crowns 227,603.900 for French, British, American and Italian goods. In my pharmacy we speak French, English, Italian, Egyptian, Hungarian, Polish and Czech. (…) The term “International” is just a word that is the same in any language and always has the same meaning and is always understood. Finally I want to remark that I am the supplier to all the embassies.”

With these words Dr. Arnold Stumpf adequately summarizes the character of the International Pharmacy as it is preserved until today.

1928 Dr. Stumpf founds an ordinary partnership. In 1940 he includes several family members as shareholders - his wife Mag. pharm. Stefanie Maria Stumpf, his daughters Mag. pharm. Maria Stumpf and Mag. pharm. Marguerita Bruno Fadrus, as well as his son in law Dr. Adalbert Fadrus.

Following the death of his sister in law and parents in law, Dr. Fadrus becomes head of the partnership in 1965. In 1972 his widow Mag. pharm. Marguerita Fadrus becomes sole owner of the company.

In 1979 DR. Walter Otto takes over ownership of the pharmacy and installs Mag.pharm. Wolfgang Jarisch as its administrator. Mag.pharm Wolfgang Jarisch is followed by Mag. pharm. Heide Peschel, after he decides to open his own business in 1984.

After the death of Dr. Otto in 1992, the management of his property and belongings falls to his widow Anneliese Otto, who sells the company to its current owner, Mag. pharm. Renate Baldia, a couple of years later.

With the takeover of the International Pharmacy through Mag. pharm. Renate Baldia in 1997, the business’s long history comes to its preliminary end.

With a lot of enthusiasm and commitment Mag. Baldia has lead the company into the 21st century and gave it a fresh new face. But in spite of all the innovations, changes and advancements that time brings, Mag. Baldia and her team want to stay true to the name and the meaning “International Pharmacy” as Mag. Stumpf hekped to shape it: to be a contact point for national and international customers, a bridge between nationalities, languages, different healing techniques, cures and pharmaceutical forms.

Logo Internationale Apotheke

“The term “International” is just a word that is the same in any language and always has the same meaning and is always understood.”