Andreas Schädlich grew up with laboratory equipment and behind the sales counter: straight after German reunification, his parents took over the Löwen Apotheke pharmacy in Schneeberg-Neustädtel. In 1995 they also took on the Merkur pharmacy, which Andreas could actually see from his secondary school. Those were difficult, but also exciting years: his parents’ brave step into independence was extremely demanding. Andreas himself started a degree in pharmaceutics at the University of Halle. His internship introduced him to both sides of a career in pharmaceutics: six months in a pharmacy, another six in research.

Travelling the world doing pharmaceutical research

“When I went to university, I actually intended to return to the Ore Mountains as quickly as I could”, Andreas Schädlich reminisces. What kept him in Halle was the prospect of fascinating research topics – and meeting fellow student Annekatrin, who would become his wife. After gaining their doctorates, the two considered their next steps. “I wasn’t ready to start at the pharmacy – first, I wanted to live the city life.” Even then, however, the pharmaceutical market was already unpredictable. Finally, Andreas settled on Frankfurt. The four years were like a world trip, with regular expeditions to the UK, India and the USA, among other places. Looking back, Andreas remembers “a hectic pace, full of cars, a dog-eat-dog world. I found life in the big city stressful.”

“You should always appreciate what you already have in life”, the father of two sums up. And he believes that the towns in the Ore Mountains have a lot to offer, having become a lot more attractive in recent years. “The whole range from the kindergarten to grammar school, lovely countryside, unbroken traditions, cities just around the corner: what more could anyone want from life?” There is still one thing that Andreas Schädlich has not been able to leave behind from his time in the city: the pharmaceutical industry.  He has maintained that connection with a side job there. “It constantly expands my horizons and gives me a new outlook on my work at the pharmacy.”

His parents’ life work: the call of his native land

“Decisions always depend on your own personal goals”, the pharmacist believes. His plans thus changed with the birth of his first daughter, when thoughts of returning to his home region resurfaced. At the time, the Schneeberg native was high up the career ladder, having risen to the position of head of department at his pharmaceutical company. He could choose from opportunities around the world. But they all presented him with a choice between seeing his child grow up, or keeping on moving like a rolling stone. The Ore Mountains pharmacies increasingly dominated his thoughts, especially as his parents were about to retire, raising the subject of who would take them over.

In favour of life in the country

Dr Andreas Schädlich took over the two pharmacies in 2016. In the digital age, the pharmacy market has become highly competitive. Despite all difficulties, the Ore Mountains native is certain that he is on the right path: he is forward-looking, takes time for his customers, advises them in person and exudes warmth. So far, he has had little time for hobbies. Renting a little house in the neighbouring village, with the countryside on his doorstep, gives him the personal balance he needs. As Andreas Schädlich says, “the quality of life is great in the Ore Mountains. I can look out on the hills every day, while still living in a flourishing industrial region.”

This success story is also told on the website Erzgebirge – Gedacht. Gemacht.
Photo credits: Foto-Atelier LORENZ