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History of Pharmacy

History of pharmacy is very old and ancient. A lot of people as well as civilizations have contributed in the development of modern medicines.
One of the great names associated with the history of pharmacy is George. A. Bender who has defined the pharmacy as the practice of the profession of the art and science of preparing, preserving, compounding, and dispensing medicines, indeed has a proud heritage- an unequaled record of service to humanity almost as old as the human race itself.

According to ancient Egyptians, the word pharmacy is derived from ph-ar-maki, which means the provider of safety and security. However, according to greeks, the word pharmacy was taken from the word pharmakon which means drug and poison. The expert in the field of pharmacy is the pharmacist earlier referred to as the shamans, priests, healers, chemists, and druggists.

The existence of humans has brought pharmaceutical care with itself although earlier the only person was the healer who provides all the physician as well as pharmaceutical care.

Progression in Pharmacy in Different Traditions
Mesopotamia and Egyptian Pharmacy
Mesopotamians have developed the treatment to cure the disease by using plants, animals, and minerals. For the compounding of various drugs, they have a set of standard weights for making the drugs. A standard book is there named materia medica which deals with the medications associated with 250 drugs of plant origin, 120 of animal origin, and 30 of unmixed. A concept of poly-pharmaceutical was also derived during this era.

Egyptians believe that the flow of four materials takes place i.e.blood, water air, and wekhudu (bodily waste), and believed that wekhudu was the main cause of illness and focused on its removal from the body. These beliefs lead to the birth of laxatives using senna and castor beans. Perfumes were also a part of the Egyptian era using aromatic plants.

Ayurvedic Pharmacy
Ayurvedic treatment has been derived from Ayurveda which means knowledge for longevity. The detail of Ayurveda is in Charaka Samhita and Susruta Samhita. Charaka Samhita deals with pharmacy and medicines associated with herbs. Susruta Samhita deals with the surgery. According to Ayurveda three life forces or doshas are there –
  • Vata (air and energy)
  • Kapha (earth)
  • Pitta (fire)

Chinese Medicines
Chinese medicines include five major elements – fire, metal, water, wood, and earth. They referred to illness as “bing”. Pen-Ts’ao, was a book that consists of medications and prescriptions and was written by Shen-nung focusing on herbal medicines. Literary works were used in Chinese medicines was the book of systematic pharmacology Zhenglei Bencao was there containing about 1740 remedies. Zhenzhu Nang (Bag of Pearls) mentioning about drug therapy and literature classifying the herbs according to five elements.

Unani Medicines
Unani medicines are generally a part of pharmaceutical care in the middle east and Asian countries and represent the Graeco-Arabic medicine system back around 2500 years ago and a combination of 4-5 % animal, 5-6% mineral, and 90% herbal. According to the Unani system temperament (Minaj) matters the most in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The therapeutic approaches and treatments modalities include-
  • Ilaj- Bil-Tadbeer (Regimental therapy)
  • Ilaj- Bil-Dawa (Pharmacotherapy)
  • Ilaj- Bil-Yad (Surgery)
  • Ilaj- Bil-Ghiza (Dietotherapy)
Allopathy System of Medicines
The Allopathy system of medicines deals with synthetic or semisynthetic drug therapy. It is the most developed and modern system of medicines. Drugs are classified according to their pharmacological effect and provide rapid relief and inconvenience caused by the disease.

History of Pharmacy in India
M.L. Shroff is the father of Indian pharmacy under whose guidance the first pharmacy course was established in India at BHU.

S.No.

Year

Event

1

1811

Opening of a chemist shop in Kolkata by Scotch M Bathgate.

2

1824

Indian version of London Pharmacopoeia

3

1840

Bengal dispensary and pharmacopoeia-Vol 1 published from Calcutta.

4

1864

Motion for publication of Indian pharmacopeia

5

1874

Chemists and Druggists Diploma” at MMC, Chennai

6

1901

Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical established

7

1909

Bengal Excise Act

8

1914

Punjab Excise Act

9

1919

Bengal Food Adulteration Act.

10

1937

Import of Drugs Bil

11

1940

Drug act

12

1941

DTAB was constituted

13

1945

Standardization of Pharmacy Education in India

14

1946

Indian Pharmacopoeial list

15

1948

Pharmacy Act

16

1948

Indian Pharmacopoeial Committee was constituted

17

1949

PCI established.

18

1954

Drugs and Magic Remedies Act

19

1955

Medicinal and Toilet Preparation

20

1955

The first IP published

21

1985

Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Act






Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
.moc.enilediugamrahp@ofni :liamENeed Help: Ask Question


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