New building for the cantonal pharmacy – from the cantonal poor pharmacy to a high-tech company – news

The laboratories of the Kantonsapotheke Zürich (KAZ) do not only come this way. Especially not in street clothes. First the hands have to be disinfected, the shoes are covered and a white lab coat is applied. Then follows the next step: the passage through an airlock. Welcome to the clean zone 1!

An employee in a lab coat fills in a laboratory

The Kantonsapotheke Zürich produces medicines that are not or no longer available on the free market. Rare cancer drugs or a cream for only one patient are also included.


Everything here must be super sterile. Employees only need an hour before they move. They are packaged in a protective suit and work on laboratory equipment with rubber gloves and a face mask. Jewelery and watches are forbidden for hygienic reasons. The purity that a medicine needs is one of the highest demands in production, explains Heinz Obertüfer, the technical manager of the KAZ.

Man is a dirt-scooter. That is why he can only be checked here.

Here, cytostatic cancer therapy is produced in the laboratory. The KAZ produced more than 70,000 individualized recipes last year with more than 37,000 individual cancer therapies.

Eight deliveries per day

Downstairs on the ground floor the loading dock is in full swing. Green boxes, filled with medicines for hospitals, are loaded into trucks on rolling pallets.

Hundreds of medicines are stored on the shelves of an industrial building.

De Kantonsapotheke Zürich delivers an average of seven tons of medication every day. This corresponds to a delivery volume of more than 70 m³.


The KAZ delivers about 4,000 medicines. They are delivered eight times a day, especially at the Zurich University Hospital and at the Canton Winterthur. Several regional hospitals also receive their medicines here, but not the hospitals of Stadtzürchen.

From planning to full operation – in four years

The cantonal pharmacy Zurich was founded in 1809 as a "cantonal pharmacy". Until now, the cantonal pharmacy was spread over four locations in Zurich and Winterthur. His basic assignment is to ensure that the people of the canton are provided with remedies. Currently she is still director of the health department, but in 2019 she should become an independent AG. Four years ago, the Zurich Government Council decided to build a new building in Schlieren. Within a few weeks the KAZ should be fully operational in Schlieren. The Zurich Government Council Thomas Heiniger (FDP) finds only two words: "A masterpiece."

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