Hover over main image to zoom
The Pharmacist, circa 1892
Pharmacy, chemistry and medicine evolutionarily co-mingled during the eighteen and nineteenth centuries in the United States. Chemistry freed itself from pharmaceutical chemistry. The estrangement allowed for the rapid development in chemical theories and discoveries. Although now separate fields, they continually interdigitated, both contributing to and advancing the other. The curricula of medical schools provided instruction in pharmacy and gave rise to the dispensing physician. Thus, during this time, one might be a chemist, a pharmacist-chemist, a pharmacist, a pharmicist-practitioner, a physician or a physician-pharmacist. As with medicine, one could be a self proclaimed pharmacist, a pharmacist by apprenticeship or one formally educated. Fearing that education of a pharmacist would fall completely into the hands of the medical profession, a group of Philadelphia pharmacists formed the first proprietary school, the Philadelphia College of Apothecaries in 1821. The name was soon changed to the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. The post-Civil War period saw a great proliferation of schools. Introduction of pharmacy programs into the new publicly supported state universities was most significant. The University of Michigan in 1868 was the first. The Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America referred to as the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) appeared in 1820. The General Convention of Physicians was responsible for the USP until 1851 when pharmacy was accorded official representation. The 1882 edition was noteworthy because it was the first revision entirely in the hands of pharmacists rather than physicians. Other organizations advancing the profession were the American Pharmaceutical Association created in 1852 and The National Association of Retail Druggists founded in 1898.