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Old and New Pharmacy

Nature volume 130, page 468 (24 September 1932) | Download Citation



A WRITER in the Sunday Observer recently deplored the passing of the old-time English pharmacy with its window display of stoppered carboys of coloured water and its opal and gilded drug-jars. The loss of these emblems coincides with a change in the character of the pharmacist's occupation. The centralisation of manufacture tends more and more to convert him into a distributor of compounded medicines, in place of the skilled technician who made his own preparations out of crude drugs; but it must not be forgotten that he must now know a great deal more, about more complex drugs, than the old-time pharmacist. Side by side with this change there has grown up a demand on the part of pharmaceutical and fine chemical manufacturers for a new kind of pharmacist, whose knowledge is varied enough to enable him to deal with the new developments in therapeutics to which chemists, pharmacologists, and physiologists are constantly contributing. Much the same type of pharmacist is required by the great hospitals, which in these days often undertake the manufacture of pharmaceutical products on a considerable Scale, for the use of their patients. To meet these new demands p harmaceutical education in Great Britain has been and is still being remodelled, and if any justification is needed for the changes the Pharmaceutical Society is making in this direction, it will be found in the new “British Pharmacopœia”, to be published next month. The advance notices of this work, which have appeared in the technical press, indicate that it will make greatly increased demands on the knowledge and skill of the pharmacist, even where he is only concerned with the care and distribution of the vast number of products used hi modern medicine.

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