A reflection of the humanitarian crises of the 20th century in the history of Hoffmann-La Roche in Eastern Europe

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


The 125 years of history of Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche) is inextricably linked with the global changes and disturbances faced by Europe in the 20th century. The company’s second largest market – Russia – suffered a lot during World War I: political revolution and civil war, which resulted in the collapse of the Russian empire. For Roche, it was a period of not only economic but also personal losses. The turbulent years of the beginning of the 20th century had also taken their toll on the health of company founder Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, and he died on 18 April 1920. He was succeeded by his partner, chemist Emil Barell (1874-1953), who had to overcome the crisis. The local Roche employees who understood the peculiarities of the former territories of the Russian empire became a key source of information, providing advice to the management headquartered in Basel. It was these employees who determined business development during the period of state formation in Poland and the Baltic countries. Branches in Latvia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, where management was entrusted to former Roche
employees in Russia, achieved the most success in the interwar period. World War II and its consequences separated the countries of Eastern and Western Europe for a long time. The restoration of partnership began in the 1970s, but the final modern map of Roche branches in Eastern Europe was formed after 1991 with the demise of the USSR and Yugoslavia. In the twenty-first century, Roche branches began to operate in all countries of Eastern Europe.
Period22 Oct 2021
Event titleThe Joint International Pharmacy Symposium “Contemporary Pharmacy: Issues Challenges and Expectations 2021“ and “11th Conference: Pharmacy Science and Practice: INTERNATIONAL E-CONFERENCE
Event typeSymposium
Conference number11
OrganiserLithuanian University of Health Sciences
LocationKaunas, LithuaniaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • history of pharmacy
  • history of epidemics
  • pharma industry

Field of Science

  • 3.1 Basic medicine
  • 3.5 Other medical sciences