Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients Production – Evolution Of Pharmacy

Pharmacy began as a profession back in 4000 B.C. Initially, the knowledge of pharmacy, the theories, the tips and tricks were noted on papyrus scrolls and tablets.

Even the cavemen had their own ways for treating certain everyday ailments, pharmacy in its truest form, has evolved to become one of the most important pillars of civilization. In this article, we will go through a short history of pharmacy, focusing on it evolution from the time of leaves and tablets to the industrialized world.

Diocles Of Carystus

While the name sounds like a book, Diocles Of Carystus was actually a Green root collector and more importantly physician, who compiled and developed a book which contained information of the medicinal properties of fauna.

Diocles Of Carystus is also responsible for inspiring Pedanius Discorides, the author of De Materia Medica, a five-volume book which inspired the scientists during Islam’s golden age.

First Drug Stores

Pharmaceutical drug stores as we see today, started becoming popular in Baghdad in 750 AD.

While initially, medicines were limited monasteries in Europe, in 1200 AD, drug stores started becoming trendy.

One of the earlier time’s most popular pharmacies, Louis Herbert was established by Herbert, a Parisian. He learned many remedies and medicine theories from the Native Americans.

Japanese Medicine

Pharmacists were much respected during the times of kings, in Japan. According to the hierarchical structure, pharmacists were considered to be above physicians.

The Indian Medicine

The earliest medicinal compilation of India, dating back to 3rd or 4th century AD, was developed by Sushruta. His work, Sushruta Sanhita (Sushruta’s Compendium) serves as the base for Ayurveda, the Indian herbal medicinal knowledge.

On a side note, Sushruta is also responsible for the development of modern surgery, due to his detailed accounts of surgery.

india Pharmacy

First Pharmacies

An Irish immigrant, Christopher Marshall established the first pharmacy in the United States in Philadelphia in 1729.

He was also a leader of the American revolution.

John Morgan, America’s Public Medical Instruction’s founder, established the first hospital pharmacy and started advocating prescriptions, in 1752 AD.

American Pharmacists Association

It is the first professional society of pharmacists in the United States of America and was established in 1852. As soon as it was established, they strained on standardizing pharmaceutical medicines.

Pharmacy and Industrialization

Industrialization of pharmacy mainly started after the second world war in 1942. Globalization, along with industrialization, helped in achieving the modern form of pharmacy in today’s world, that sees a lot of companies outsourcing their work and establishing their roots in foreign countries.

Laws and regulations

Organizations such as the Food and Drugs Association (of US) have developed certain laws and regulations to prevent false manufacturing practices.

After the tetanus outbreak and deaths caused by contaminations, the laws and regulations regarding drugs were formed, and enforced.

In 1902, the Biologics Control Act was formed, which made it mandatory to gain permissions from federal government. The permissions were to be taken for the drug’s manufacturing process and facilities and before the drug’s marketing.

In 1906, the Pure Food and Drugs Act was formed, which banned the distribution of adulterated or misbranded drugs that took place between states.

Misbranded drugs – The above law tagged the drugs as misbranded if they contained any additive or harmful substance, such as alcohol, opium, cocaine and morphine.


Drug discovery and development

Drug discovery is the process by which new drugs are discovered and designed. Initially, medicinal plants and plant extracts were used to treat certain ailments. On the other hand, modern pharmacy is more focused on researching pathogens’ metabolic pathways. These pathways can then be manipulated, ultimately resulting in treatment of the illness.

Drug development is the process that takes place after identifying a drug from a compound. At the surface, it seems as if only the formulation and dosing of the active pharmaceutical Ingredients matter, it is also about establishing regulations and safety standards. This is done by organizing intensive screenings for the drug. It helps in determining whether the drug is safe enough to be put on the shelves.

Some pharmaceutical companies try to bypass some of the processes of drug discovery and development, to cut costs and gain more profit. Organizations like the FDA, serve as watchdogs to such activities, and ensure the safety of the consumers.


The pharmaceutical industry is much more vibrant and large than it was a few decades ago. With the arrival of information technology, the world of pharmacy has gained traction and is now more connected than ever.

In a world where every pharmaceutical company is trying to maximize their benefits at every cost, only vigilant organizations with strict enforcement of laws and regulations can assure that customer’s safety isn’t compromised.


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