Andhra University is the second institute in the country to start pharmacy courses at University level in 1930's. The pharmacy courses were initially offered in the B.Sc. Honours degree of chemical technology and as a specialization at M.Sc. Chemical Technology level. The importance of pharmaceutical sciences led to the formation of a separate department in 1951, with the commencement of B.Pharm. course with late Prof. S. Rangaswamy as founder Head of the Department. The M.Pharm. course was started in 1954. A separate Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences was formed in 1975.
At present, the department offers B.Pharm. and post-graduate M.Pharm. and Ph.D. programmes in six specializations namely Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical and Food Analysis, Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. The department has the distinction of being the first in the country to start pharmaceutical biotechnology division. Prof. S. Rangaswamy and founder faculty members Prof. V. Subba Rao, Prof. N. Viswanadham, Prof. K. Sambamurty and Prof. E. Venkata Rao laid solid foundations and moulded the department into one of the best in the country.
Eminent teachers and researchers who served as "Heads of the Department" in the past and contributed richly to its development include late Prof. S. Rangaswamy (1951-1963), late Prof. V. Subba Rao (1963-1979), Prof. N. Viswanadham (1979-1982), late Prof. K. Sambamurty (1982-1985), Prof. E. Venkata Rao (1985-1988), Prof. D. Visweswaram (1988-1991), Prof. R.V. Krishna Rao (1991-1992), Prof. M. Vimala Devi (1993-1995), Prof. D. Venkata Rao (1996-1998), and Prof. P. Ellaiah (1999-2001).
Prof. K.P.R. Chowdary, recipient of several national awards, has been the Head of the Department since January 2002 and is striving for a multifaceted development of the department to reach excellence. The alumni of the department are holding high positions in prestigious national and international bodies, drug industry, drugs control administration and in Universities in India and abroad. A good rapport is being maintained between the department and its alumni. The alumni has formed an association named Andhra University Pharmacy Alumni Charitable Trust (AUPACT) and has established an industrial pharmacy unit in the department in 1998. The faculty of the department has shown their commitment and dynamism by conducting a number of workshops, national and international seminars and conferences and also the prestigious Indian Pharmaceutical Congress twice, in 1977 and in 1995.
On Research Front
The department has always realized that serious research is the backbone of quality education and the growth of research and teaching always went hand in hand. The department has contributed significantly in all major fields of research in pharmacy. Even the earliest research by the founder faculty member of the department Prof. E. Venkata Rao resulted in the discovery of a new cardiac drug Peruvoside which is being manufactured by an Italian firm Indena even today. The research in the department has been consistently sustained during the last 5 decades. The 88 Ph.D. degrees awarded, 1010 research papers published by the faculty in national and international journals of repute and the campus and national awards won by the faculty bear testimony to the quality of research carried out in the department. The research of the faculty members has been consistently supported by funding agencies such as CSIR, UGC, DST and AICTE. Thirty-one major research projects have been completed and 11 major research projects worth of Rs. 1.88 crores are ongoing.