A Bavarian company with international scope

Munich in the 1960s: A booming economy drew scores of guest workers to Germany. The Internationale Ludwigs-Apotheke in Munich supplied these workers with familiar medicines from their home countries. From these modest beginnings, a global enterprise was born with suppliers from all over the world, especially from Europe, the USA, Canada and Japan. In May 2006, the wholesale division of the Internationale Ludwigs-Apotheke was spun off and Internationale Ludwigs-Arzneimittel (ilapo) was founded.


Over 40 highly-specialized employees serve our German and international customers and supply half a million – and counting – packaged pharmaceuticals each year to more than 70 countries.

The company relocated its headquarters in response to the steady growth of the market and high GDP standards. This move to a new, larger space also fulfilled the logistical requirements for further growth. All pharmaceutical products are stored and packed in compliance with GDP in air-conditioned and temperature-controlled rooms.

ilapo was awarded the 2012 Exportpreis Bayern (Bavarian Export Prize) for outstanding achievements in trade.

ilapo in its current form was established when the wholesale sector moved into its own quarters. In the same year, the company also made its first trade show appearance outside Germany at Arab Health in Dubai, and established its export division.

Sabine Fuchsberger-Paukert joined the management team, and the company began to promote the systematic expansion of a separate division for the import and export of pharmaceuticals.

Wholesale pharmacy operations became more important in the 1990s, mainly due to the first imports from the USA. The Internationale Ludwigs-Apotheke imported the first AIDS medications for patients in Germany.

An influx of guest workers into Germany during the economic boom created a demand for foreign pharmaceuticals. The Picha family built up a network of international suppliers to meet this demand. Owner Dr. Karl Picha, who spoke several languages, traveled around Europe making new contacts with pharmacists interested in going into business. The resulting network of suppliers is still one of the mainstays of ilapo’s success.

At this time, the main role of pharmacies was still the production of medicines. But then, as now, there was a lack of regulatory framework for pharmaceuticals and production. The pharmacist Carl Picha took advantage of the opportunity and began importing pharmacopoeia and making new compounds. The company began to operate under the name Internationale Ludwigs-Apotheke.

More than 190 years ago, ilapo was founded as the Ludwigs-Apotheke by Joseph Oberwegner, allegedly an illegitimate son of the Bavarian King Ludwig I.

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