Introduction to Pharmacy

Pharmacy is the fastest growing, dynamic profession offering a wealth of opportunities. The community pharmacy was established in America since the 1920s.

The first clinical pharmacy program to adopt as a degree of Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program was the University of Southern California in 1950.

Higher professional standing began to enter in the profession from 1960s onward. In the past more focus was on the subjects like basic sciences of chemistry and physics; medicine-related subjects such as Pharmacognosy, botany, pharmacology, physiology, and public health; and practice-related subjects such as small-scale pharmaceutical manufacturing, prescription filling, and retail sales operations.

But now, the Pharmaceutical Curriculum comprises of all information on diagnosis and treatment of disease. Time has come that a pharmacist has a duty to assist their “customers” as to how to “the cure for an ailment,” they have to treat a disease without or contrary to a prescription from a physician.

History of Pharmacy Profession:

The history of pharmacy as an independent science dates back to the first third of the 19th century. Before then, pharmacy evolved from antiquity as part of medicine. The history of pharmacy coincides well with the history of medicine, but it's important that there is a distinction between the two topics.

Pharmaceuticals is one of the most-researched fields in the academic industry, but the history surrounding that particular topic is sparse compared to the impact its made world-wide. Before the advent of pharmacists, there existed apothecaries that worked alongside priests and physicians in regard to patient care Between 60 and 78 AD, the Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides wrote a five-volume book, De materia medica, covering over 600 plants and coining the term materia medica. It formed the basis for many medieval texts, and was built upon by many Middle Eastern scientists during the Islamic Golden Age. In Japan, at the end of the Asuka period and the early Nara period (710–794), the men who fulfilled roles similar to those of modern pharmacists were highly respected. The place of pharmacists in society was expressly defined in the Taihō Code (701) and re-stated in the Yōrō Code .

Ranked positions in the pre-Heian Imperial court were established; and this organizational structure remained largely intact until the Meiji Restoration (1868). In Baghdad the first pharmacies, or drug stores, were established in under the Abbasid Caliphate during the Islamic Golden Age. By the ninth century, these pharmacies were state-regulated.The advances made in the Middle East in botany and chemistry led medicine in medieval Islam substantially to develop pharmacology. Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāz for instance, acted to promote the medical uses of chemical compounds. Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi (Abulcasis) (936-1013) pioneered the preparation of medicines by sublimation and distillation. His Liber servitoris is of particular interest, as it provides the reader with recipes and explains how to prepare the "simples" from which were compounded the complex drugs then generally used. Sabur Ibn Sahl (d. 869), was, however, the first physician to initiate a pharmacopoeia, describing a large variety of drugs and remedies for ailments.

Al-Biruni (973-1050) wrote one of the most valuable Islamic works on pharmacology entitled Kitab al-Saydalah (The Book of Drugs), where he gave detailed knowledge of the properties of drugs and outlined the role of pharmacy and the functions and duties of the pharmacist. Ibn Sina (Avicenna), too, described no less than 700 preparations, their properties, mode of action and their indications. He devoted in fact a whole volume to simple drugs in The Canon of Medicine. Of great impact were also the works by al-Maridini of Baghdad and Cairo, and Ibn al-Wafid (1008–1074), both of which were printed in Latin more than fifty times, appearing as De Medicinis universalibus et particularibus by `Mesue' the younger, and the Medicamentis Simplicibus by `Abenguefit'. Peter of Abano (1250–1316) translated and added a supplement to the work of al-Maridini under the title De Veneris. Al-Muwaffaq's contributions in the field are also pioneering. Living in the tenth century, he wrote The Foundations of the True Properties of Remedies, amongst others describing arsenious oxide, and being acquainted with silicic acid. In the early 11th century, Salerno scholar Constantinos Africanus translated many Arabic books into Latin, driving a shift from Hippocratic medicine towards a pharmaceutical-driven approach advocated by Galen. In medieval Europe, monks typically did not speak Greek, leaving only Latin texts such as the works of Pliny available until these translations by Constantinos. In addition, Arabic medicine became more widely known due to Muslim Spain