In the "golden age of alpinism" - the small mountain farming village of Zermatt was only accessible by a mule track from the valley – the apothecary de Chastonay from Siders in Zermatt opened a small branch pharmacy located on Bahnhofstrasse. This pharmacy was only open during the 3 summer months. During the isolation of the winter months - the small village was very often not accessible from the valley - the key of the small pharmacy could be found with the village pastor or the Zermatt midwife.
The name ‘Pharmacy International’ acquainted the foreign clientele – at that time above all English people – with the fact that the pharmacy also handled foreign, i.e. international prescriptions. And those were the times when English prescriptions were not written in the metric system, but in the English system with grains, minims and drachms, etc. From the very beginning, the small pharmacy had to fulfil not only the requirements of the village but also those of an international clientele. Hence, domestic and foreign drugs were kept in stock and domestic and foreign recipes were handled.
This gave it the name Pharmacy International, a name which has been retained to this day because the pharmacy had to cope not only with the needs of the local population, but also of the colourful and diverse international clientele of Zermatt.
For the first time, Pharmacy International appeared in the log of the pharmacy ‘visitations’ in the Upper Valais in 1888. The minute description of the conditions in the pharmacy visitation log of October 27, 1888, allows us to get an accurate picture of the pharmacy at that time.
In 1891 too, in spite of a new administration, the inspector expressed his satisfaction with this pharmacy.
The Zermatt apothecary Dr. pharm. Rudolf Taugwalder, head of the Health Department of the canton of Valais, took over the pharmacy from Mr de Chastonay and transformed the seasonal pharmacy into a pharmacy open all year round. The apothecary Maurice Georgy acted as administrator of the pharmacy at the time and took over the pharmacy in the following years.
In 1950, the family of Alfred and Alice Perren-Barberini took over the pharmacy, which was on their estate, from Mr Maurice Georgy. Apothecary Maurice Georgy remained for the time being as the pharmacist responsible.
Beat H. Perren, son of the Perren-Barberini family, obtained his diploma as a pharmacist having been awarded a degree at the ETH in Zurich and passing the federal state examination. He then took over the management of the pharmacy.