Pharmacy is as old as medicine itself. The earliest example ever found of pharmaceutical science was in ancient Mesopotamia, around 2100 BCE. The Papyrus Ebers, a collection of 700 prescriptions and remedies found in Egypt, dates back to around 1500 BCE.
In Europe, public pharmacies finally began appearing in the 13th century. King Frederick II passed a law that officially separated the professions of physicians and pharmacists, creating professional regulation for both in 1240.
In 1618, the first complete collection of approved drugs in English, the London Pharmacopoeia, was published. And by the mid-1700s, pharmaceutical science and practice had begun in America, after a hospital pharmacy was co-founded by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia.
The evolution of pharmacy practice increased with the Industrial Revolution through mass-produced, pre-packaged medication and inventions like the rotary tablet press. This first wave of pharmacy technology in America became the foundation for the industry’s greatest era yet: the 20th century.
History:[America & Nigeria]
America:William Procter, Jr. is recognized as the “Father of American Pharmacy.” He was a practitioner, experimenter, editor, association leader and professor. His vigorous leadership, energy and enthusiasm are a few reasons why he is considered one of the most admired American pharmacists.
William was born in Baltimore, MD., May 3, 1817 to Issac Procter and Rebecca Farquhar. After the death of his father, and at the age of 14, he moved to Pennsylvania and worked at Henry M. Zollickoffer’s pharmacy where he spent his leisure time studying chemistry and pharmacy.
Following graduation from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1837, he opened a drugstore in 1844. He spent his time conducting new investigations, developing new preparations and studying the formulas of the pharmacopoeia in order to improve them.
In 1846, he became a professor at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. From 1850 to 1871, William led the American Journal of Pharmacy. He is also known for writing the first textbook on pharmacy for American students.
He is also responsible for presenting the idea for a national American pharmaceutical association to the Convention of Pharmaceutics and Druggists in October 15 -16th, 1851 in New York. As a result of his advocacy and drive, the association was founded a year later.
William’s trailblazing impact set the stage for pharmacy today. Throughout his career, he is known for doing more than any other person to advance the interests of the science of pharmacy and to popularize an education in pharmaceuticals.
Nigeria:Pharm, (Prince) Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, FPSN, OFR: He is a former Minister of Health and Social science and the Chairman of Juli Plc (the first indigenous company to be quoted on the Nigerian Stock exchange), a qualified Legal Practitioner and an elder-statesman. He was National President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce. He was Assistant General Manager of Pfizer Nigeria Limited from 1968 to 1969. He is multilingual and has visited over 100 countries of the world. He has won a myriad of international and national award, including OFR (Order of the Federal Republic). He was among the pioneering set of students that gained admission into the University of Ife from 1962-1965.
Did You Know?
In 1970, the first electronic portable digital tablet counter was invented by John Kirby.
In the early 1980s, Leon Faber discovered how to store and play digitized speech and process any responses, leading to the original IVR system.
Pagers or beepers, first commercially available in the 1980s, were widely used for patient and healthcare provider communication until recently.
Despite its long history, pharmacy as we know it today has evolved rapidly in the past few decades. Time-honored methods like compounding by hand may remain, but how pharmacists practice, the technology they use, and how they communicate with patients have all changed.
Mobile health apps, IVR systems, and secure messaging have all seen widespread adoption, giving patients the tools to connect digitally with healthcare providers. Telemedicine and telepharmacy have also grown in popularity, due to an aging population and the restrictions of COVID-19.
Newer innovations like pharmacy management systems, dispensing robots, and 3D printed medication have allowed smaller pharmacies to work more efficiently and compete with big-box stores.
The role of the pharmacist has changed as well. Pharmacists today are expected to have an active online presence and provide their patients with a seamless omnichannel experience to stay competitive in a digital world.
Quick Pharmacy Trivia:
Are you ready to test your pharmacy history knowledge? You may even find some of the answers in our short history above:
-When did King Frederick II officially divide pharmacists and physicians into separate professions?
-Who was the first hospital pharmacy in America co-founded by?
-How often do people download health mobile apps every year?
-How many seniors use a wearable to monitor their health?
-Who was the first company to create an automated pill dispenser with telemedicine capabilities this year?
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