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,andChina.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.The inception of pharmacy profession in India was marked by the first class of the chemist and druggist conducted at the Madras medical college in 1870s to train students to gain skills in pharmacy practice. Pharmacy education pattern was based on the instructions provided by the pharmaceutical society of Great Britain. A formal training of the compounders was started in 1881 in Bengal.
The pharmacy profession entered India almost simultaneously. For almost half a century not much progress was noticed, until B.Pharm course was started in 1937 at Banaras Hindu University and in 1944 at the Punjab University, Lahore now in Pakistan. The B.Pharm course at BHU was industry oriented while that at Punjab University was oriented towards Pharmacy practice.
Though the profession was oriented towards pharmacy practice at the introductory stage but as it grew it became more industry oriented.
This bend lead to the development of modern Indian pharmaceutical industry, which is now the 4th in terms of volume and 14th in terms of value.
The future prediction for the Indian pharmaceutical industry is that it is expected to become the super power by the year 2020.
The future of a pharmacy is in pharmacy practice. So, it is now observed that pharmacy in India is going back to from where it started: Pharmacy Practice.