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History of Pharmacy

Pharmacy profession has existed in a rudimentary form from time immemorial. It is fruitless to try to determine when it started. Greeks were one of the first patrons of this profession. The word pharmacy originated from the Greek word “PHARMAKON”.

It was in 9th century in the civilized world around Baghdad that the profession of pharmacy started acquiring shape. It slowly spread to Europe as alchemy and finally developed into chemistry. The first known chemical process was carried out by the artisans of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China. However in the 19th century it completely sprouted out from medicine and started developing as a separate profession. This happened only when the role of pharmacist as a compounder of medicines were identified and differentiated from physician whose role was accepted as the therapist. The practice in those times was restricted to compounding, dispensing medication and manufacturing medicaments in bulk lots not for general sale. The medicament commonly produced was simple elixirs, spirits, and powders in contrast to the complex pharmaceutical remedies of the present era. The 19th century witnessed various milestones being set in the field of pharmacy. In 1821, first school of pharmacy was established in U.S at Philadelphia. The first U.S pharmacopoeia was published in 1820. American pharmacist association was founded in 1852.The first National formulary was published in 1888.