Pharmaceutical department was established in 1961. This department then started giving free medicines that were produced manually by a handful of workers and limited resources, under the guidance of Dr. Yeshi Dhonden, former personal physician to H.H. the Dalai Lama.
Year 1964: Late Dr. Jamyang Tashi was appointed as the head of the Pharmaceutical Department. He along with a few colleagues toured around Dalhousie and began making medicine with the help of local monks. This triggered an increase in the production of medicines.
Year 1967: This year saw the arrival of a new electrical pulverizing machine and a manually functioning pill coating machine. With this introduction, the production of medicine improved.
Year 1980: With the establishment of many new branch clinics all over India, this department began setting up more machines and employing more staffs to increase the production.
Year 1982: Under the supervision of late Dr. Tenzin Choedrak, personal physician to H.H. the Dalai Lama, and late Dr. Tenzin Namgyal, this department successfully performed the much acclaimed practice of tsothel preparation for the first time in exile and four different precious pills were prepared from this basic composition. Thereafter, tsothel practice was successfully carried out five more times.
Year 2008: Under the guidance and support of the administration, department has installed modern packing machines for precious pills, normal pills and medicinal powders. With the help of all this modern technological facilities, the hygiene, quality control and quantity of production have improved.
Today this department is one of the most important and the largest department of this institute. This department carefully identifies thousands of medicinal ingredients obtained from Himalayan region, India and also from Tibet, as well as various markets are used in Tibetan medicine by processing them through number of procedure of purification. There are also some materials which are used directly in the medicine.
All the products and ingredients blessed by spiritual empowerment is carefully done by performing rituals of Medicine Buddha and Yuthok Nyingthik. It also adheres to the guidelines of GMP to comply with the norms of various countries.
This department was recognized as a standard pharmaceutical centre in the year 2010 by Central Council of Tibetan Medicine and was registered vide PR/C/001/2010. Presently the department is producing 172 different medicines. The formula of thirty medicines is derived from the fundamental text, one hundred and seven from practical instruction of various scholars and thirty five from combination of both fundamental text and personal instructions.
The Medicines produced from this department are dispensed to all the branch clinics of Men-Tsee-khang via Medicine Store Department. New medicines are also prepared as per the instruction of administration and other cultural departments. Furthermore, urgent production of new medicines and medicinal protecting pills against epidemic diseases are also prepared after thorough research. It is also undertaking research on raw materials which are listed endangered and rare species, and which concern environmental issues.