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B.Pharm.-1st year / Chapter 1 / History of Pharmacy- Rudra Narayan Sahoo


In ancient India the sources of drugs were of vegetable, animal and mineral origin. They
were prepared empirically by few experienced persons. Knowledge of that medical system was
usually kept secret within a family.
There were no scientific methods of standardization of drugs.
Muslim rule in India
The Indian system of medicine declined during the Muslim rule while the Arabic or the Unani-
Tibbi system flourished.
British rule in India
The western or the so-called Allopathic system came into India with the British traders who later
become the rulers. Under British rule this system got state patronage. At that time it was meant for
the ruling race only. Later it descended to the people and become popular by the close of 19th
Before 1940
Initially all the drugs were imported from Europe. Later some drugs of this system began to be
manufactured in this country.
1901: Establishment of the Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works, Calcutta by Acharya

P.C. Ray.
1903: A small factory at Parel (Bombay) by Prof. T.K. Gujjar.
1907: Alembic Chemical Works at Baroda by Prof. T.K. Gujjar.
Drugs were mostly exported in crude form and imported in finished form. During World War-I
(1914 – 1920) the imports of drugs were cut-off. Imports of drugs were resumed after the War. In
absence of any restrictions on quality of drugs imoported, manufacturer abroad took advantage of
the situation. The consequences were as follows:
(i) foreign manufacturers dumped inferior quality medicines and adulterated drugs.
(ii) Markets were full of all sorts of useless and deleterious drugs were sold by unqualified

Examples of maladies:
 Poisoning due to quinine.
 Putting of croton oil into eye instead of atropine solution.
 Selling of chalk powder tablets in place of quinine.
 Drug santonin was badly adulterated.
 Potent drugs like compounds of antimony and arsenic and preparations of digitalis were

dispensed without any standard.
Few laws were there having indirect bearing on drugs, but were insufficient.

1878 Opium Act Dealt with cultivation of poppy and the manufacture,

transport, export, import and sale of opium.
1889 Indian Merchandise Act Misbranding of goods in general
1894 Indian Tariff Act Levy of customs duty on goods including foods, drinks,

drugs, chemicals and medicines imported into India or
exported there from.

1898 Sea Customs Act Goods with ‘false trade description’ were prevented
from importing under this act.

1919 Poisons Act Regulated the import, possession and sale of poisons.
Indian Penal Code Some sections of IPC have mention of intentional

adulterations as punishable offence.


B.Pharm.-1st year / Chapter 1 / History of Pharmacy- Rudra Narayan Sahoo

Some state-level law had indirect references to drugs:

1884 Bengal Municipal Act
1901 City of Bombay District Municipal Act Concerned with food.
1909 Bengal Excise Act
1911 Punjab Municipal Act
1912 United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh) Refers to adulteration of foods and

Prevention of Adulteration Act drugs.
1914 Pujab Excise Act
1916 United Provinces Municipalities Act Inspection of shops and seizure of

adulterated substances.
1919 Bengal Food Adulteration Act
1919 Bihar and Orissa Prevention of Adulteration

1919 Madras Prevention of Adulteration Act Chiefly concerned with food

1922 Bihar and Orissa Municipal Act
1922 Central Provinces Municipalities Act
1925 Bombay Prevention of Adulteration Act
1929 Punjab Pure Food Act

The laws were too superficial and had indirect link to drugs.
Drug enquiry committee

Government of India on 11th August 1930 , appointed a committee under the chairmanship
of Late Col. R.N.Chopra to see into the problems of Pharmacy in India and recommend the
measures to be taken. This committee published its report in 1931. It was reported that there was
no recognized specialized profession of Pharmacy. A set of people known as compounders were
filling the gap.
Just after the publication of the report Prof. M.L.Schroff (Prof. Mahadeva Lal Schroff)
initiated pharmaceutical education at the university level in the Banaras Hindu University.
In 1935 United Province Pharmaceutical Association was established which later converted into
Indian Pharmaceutical Association.
The Indian Journal of Pharmacy was started by Prof. M.L. Schroff in 1939. All India
Pharmaceutical Congress Association was established in 1940. The Pharmaceutical Conference
held its sessions at different places to publicize Pharmacy as a whole.
1937: Government of India brought ‘Import of Drugs Bill’; later it was withdrawn.
1940: Govt. brought ‘Drugs Bill’to regulate the imort, manufacture, sale and distribution of

drugs in British India. This Bill was finally adopted as ‘Drugs Act of 1940’.
1941: The first Drugs Technical Advisory Board (D.T.A.B.) under this act was constituted.
Central Drugs Laboratory was established in Calcutta
1945: ‘Drugs Rule under the Drugs Act of 1940’ was established.
The Drugs Act has been modified from time to time and at present the provisions of the Act cover
Cosmetics and Ayurvedic, Unani and Homeopathic medicines in some respects.
1945: Govt. brought the Pharmacy Bill to standardize the Pharmacy Education in India
1946: The Indian Pharmacopoeial List was published under the chairmanship of late Col.R.N.

Chopra. It contains lists of drugs in use in India at that time which were not included in
British Pharmacopoeia.



B.Pharm.-1st year / Chapter 1 / History of Pharmacy- Rudra Narayan Sahoo

1948: Pharmacy Act 1948 published.
1948: Indian Pharmacopoeial Committee was constituted under the chairmanship of late Dr. B.N.

1949: Pharmacy Council of India (P.C.I.) was established under Pharmacy Act 1948.
1954: Education Regulation have come in force in some states but other states lagged behind.
1954: Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954 was passed to stop

misleading advertisements (e.g. Cure all pills)
1955: Medicinal and Toilet Prepartions (Excise Duties) Act 1955 was introduced to enforce

uniform duty for all states for alcohol products.
1955: First Edition of Indian Pharmacopoeia was published.
1985: Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Act has been enacted to protect society from the

dangers of addictive drugs.
Govt. of India controls the price of drugs in India by Drugs Price Order changed from time to time.


Ethics is defined as ‘code of moral principles’. It emphasizes on the determination of right
or wrong while doing one’s duty.
Code of Pharmaceutical Ethics as formulated by Pharmacy Council of India which are
meant to guide the pharmacist as to how he should conduct himself (or herself), in relation to
himself (or herself), his / her patrons (owner of the pharmacy), general public, co-professionals etc.
and patients.

Profession of Pharmacy is a noble profession as it is indirectly healing the persons to get
well with the help of medical practitioners and other co-professionals. Government has restricted
the practice of Pharmacy to only Profession Pharmacists i.e registered Pharmacist under the
Pharmacy Act 1948. PCI framed the following ethics for Indian Pharmacists, which may be
categorised under the following headings:
1. Pharmacist in relation to his job.
2. Pharmacist in relation to his trade.
3. Pharmacist in relation to medical profession.
4. Pharmacist in relation to his profession.

Pharmacist in relation to his job

A pharmacist should keep the following things in relation to his job.
(i)Pharmaceutical services

Pharmacy premises (medicine shops) should b e registered. Emergency medicines and common
medicines should be supplied to the patients without any delay.

(ii)Conduct of the Pharmacy
Error of accidental contamination in the preparation, dispensing and supply of medicines
should be checked in a pharmacy.

(iii)Handling of Prescription
A pharmacist should receive a prescription without any comment on it that may cause anxiety
to the patient. No part of the prescription should be changed without the consent of the
prescriber. In case of changing the prescription should be referred back to the prescriber.

(iv)Handling of drugs
A prescription should always be dispensed correctly and carefully with standard quality drug
or excipients. Drugs that have abusive potential should not be supplied to any one.


B.Pharm.-1st year / Chapter 1 / History of Pharmacy- Rudra Narayan Sahoo

(v)Apprentice Pharmacist
Experienced pharmacists should provide all the facilities for practical training of the apprentice
pharmacists. Until and unless the apprentice proves himself or herself certificate should not be
granted to him / her.

Pharmacist in relation to his trade

Following are the provisions which pharmacist should keep in mind while dealing with his trade:
(i)Price structure

The prices charged should be fair keeping with the quality, quantity and labour or skill

(ii)Fair trade practice
Fair practice should be adopted by a pharmacist in the trade without any attempt to capture
other pharmacist’s business.
If a customer brings a prescription (by mistake) which should be genuinely by some other
pharmacy the pharmacist should refuse to accept the prescription.
Imitation of copying of the labels, trade marks and other signs or symbols of other pharmacy
should not be done.

(iii)Purchase of drugs
Pharmacists should buy drugs from genuine and reputable sources.

(iv)Advertising and Displays
The sale of medicines or medical appliances or display of materials in undignified style on the
premises, in the press or elsewhere are prohibited.

Pharmacist in relation to medical profession.
Following are the code of ethics of a pharmacist in relation to medical profession:
(i)Limitation of professional activity

The professional activity of the medical practitioner as well as the pharmacists should be
confined to their own field only.
Medical practitioners should not possess drugs stores and pharmacists should not diagnose
diseases and prescribe remedies.
A pharmacist may, however, can deliver first aid to the victim incase of accident or emergency.

(ii)Cladenstine arrangement
A pharmacist should not enter into a secret arrangement or contract with a physician by
offering him any commission or any advantages.

(iii)Liasion with public.
A pharmacist should always maintain proper link between physicians and people. He should
advise the physicians on pharmaceutical matters and should educate the people regarding heath
and hygiene. The pharmacist should be keep himself / herself up-to-date with pharmaceutical
knowledge from various journals or publications.
Any information acquired by a pharmacist during his professional activities should not be
disclosed to any third party until and unless required to do so by law.

Pharmacist in relation to his profession

Regarding to the profession the following code of ethics should be fulfilled.
(i)Professional vigilance

A pharmacist must abide by the pharmaceutical laws and he/she should see that other
pharmacists are abiding it.


B.Pharm.-1st year / Chapter 1 / History of Pharmacy- Rudra Narayan Sahoo

(ii)Law-abiding citizens
The pharmacists should have a fair knowledge of the laws of the country pertaining to food,
drug, pharmacy, health, sanitation etc.

(iii)Relationship with Professional Organizations
A pharmacist should be actively involved in professional organization, should advance the
cause of such organizations.

(iv)Decorum and Propriety
A phrmacist should not indulge in doing anything that goes against the decorum and propriety
of Pharmacy Profession.

(v)Pharmacists Oath
A young prospective pharmacist should feel no hesitation in assuming the following
pharmacist’s oath:
 “I promise to do all I can to protect and improve the physical and moral well-being of

society, holding the health and safety of my community above other considerations. I
shall uphold the laws and standards governing my profession, avoiding all forms of
misinterpretation, and I shall safeguard the distribution of medical and potent

 Knowledge gained about patients, I shall hold in confidence and never divulge unless
compelled to do so by law.

 I shall strive to perfect and enlarge my knowledge to contribute to the advancements of
pharmacy and the public health.

 I furthermore promise to maintain my honour in all transactions and by my conduct
never bring discredit to myself or to my profession nor to do anything to diminish the
trust reposed in my professional brethren.

 May I prosper and live long in favour as I keep and hold to this, my Oath, but if violated
these sacred promises, may the reverse be my lot.”


Business Service
1. Drug Store 1. Hospital Pharmacy
2. Whole sale 2. Chemist in Drug Store /
3. Repacking Whole sale store
4. Bulk drug distribution D. PHARM 3. Medical representative
5. Cosmetic manufacturing 4. Packaging, store

maintenance in
Pharmaceutical Industry

5. Secretary / PA to MD in
Pharm. industry

Business 1. FDA job
1. Pharmaceutical industry 2. Teacher diploma courses
2. Bulk Drug Manufacturing B.PHARM. 3. Production
3. Pharmacist job abraod M. PHARM. 4. Marketing
4. Cultivation of medicinal 5. Teacher for Graduate level

plants courses
5. Public testing laboratories PhD 6. Research and development
6. Consultancy


B.Pharm.-1st year / Chapter 1 / History of Pharmacy- Rudra Narayan Sahoo