History of the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) began back in 1937 by the founder, Dr. Tua Lapanukrom, whose position was Director-General of the Department of Medical Science, the Ministry of Public Health. During that time, GPO was one of the Division under the Department where its primary mission was to conduct research and development on herbal products since modern medicines were not widely used in the country and mostly had to be imported from abroad.
Later in 1939, Dr. Tua changed this Division into an independent pharmaceutical factory to produce medicines for domestic supply helping to reduce foreign importation. In 1942, the factory was then officially established as the Government Pharmaceutical Laboratory by Colonel Chaung Chawengsaksongram who, during that period, was the Minister of Public Health of Thailand.
Beside the Government Pharmaceutical Laboratory, one other essential Division playing important role in the Thai pharmaceutical industry under the Department of Medical Science, was the Department of Medical Depot (found in 1901) whose primary missions concerned with procurement of medical products for the government and production of household remedies under the Royal Project initiated by his Majesty the King Bhumibol of Thailand. In 1944, the glorious obligation in household remedies production was handed over to the Government Pharmaceutical Laboratory while the Division of Medical Depot was solely responsible for medical product procurement and supply.
In 1952, there had been major modification to the Government Pharmaceutical Laboratory since the government had designated it to be no longer under the Department of Medical Science, yet appointed it as an independent State Enterprise under the Ministry of Public Health having Khun Osotsithikarn as the first Managing Director. Thereafter, the Government Pharmaceutical Laboratory had rapidly grown up making significant profits through its outstanding performance and reliable service to public eyes among many competitors until in 1957, it was able to produce up to 195 pharmaceutical items.
In order to avoid the overlapping transactions between the Government Pharmaceutical Laboratory and the Division of Medical Depot, the Ministry of Public Health decided to combine both units together in October 1963. This coalition provided great advantages to several relevant groups both in terms of medicine price reduction and improvement in administrative system. Soon after in 5th August 1966, it was officially-established into the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO), a State Enterprise under the Ministry of Public Health by the Government Pharmaceutical Organization Act, AD 1966 signed by Her Royal Highness Princess Srinagarindra, the Princess Mother.
Since then, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization has been merely contributing itself to the Thai society in providing better standing of living for all Thais through a production and supply of quality medicines at affordable prices. GPO has never stopped itself from developing & improving towards international standards in order to become the leading pharmaceutical manufacturer domestically and internationally.