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Tuesday, 7 February 2017


A pharmacist is a person who works in a pharmacy. Pharmacist" is derived from the Greek word pharmakon (φάρμακον), meaning "drug", "medicine" or "poison".

In 1240 Emperor Frederick II issued a decree by which the physician's and the pharmacist's professions were separated. This was a blow at the charlatanism under which physicians diagnosed dubious maladies and also at the same time sold a useless, even dangerous "cure".

The Society of Apothecaries was founded by King James I of England in 1617 and they were given the monopoly of buying and selling drugs within the city of London.

The apothecary's job was to make up the prescriptions for the physicians. Their only legal book of recipes for medicines was the old-fashioned Pharmacopoeia Londoniensis, which was written in Latin. They spent their time in their back rooms chopping and powdering, boiling and pounding their ingredients, which were crude and mostly derived from plants or the body parts of animals, birds and insects.

The Apothecary or The Chemist by Gabriël Metsu (c. 1651–67)

In the 17th century the word pharmacist began to be used for this compounding of medicines and the work of the chemist became quite distinct from that of the medical man.

The first sparkling mineral water was created in 1741 by Dr William Brownrigg at Whitehaven, Cumbria, England, who realized that adding carbon dioxide was the key. Early fizzy drinks were sold by pharmacists for their supposed healthgiving properties.

The first college of pharmacy in the United States, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, was founded in 1821.

Root Beer began in 1876 as an herbal tea made of various roots, berries and herbs for cough and mouth sores, created by pharmacist Charles E. Hires on his honeymoon.

Canadian pharmacist Marcellus Gilmore Edson was the first to patent peanut butter, in 1884. He developed the idea of peanut paste as a delicious and nutritious staple for people who struggled to chew on solid food.

John Pemberton, a former Confederate officer turned pharmacist, developed Coca-Cola at his Atlanta Pemberton Chemical Company in 1886.

John Pemberton

In 1887 the American pharmacist Robert Johnson launched the medical company Johnson and Johnson with his brothers James and Edward.

In 1893 American pharmacist Caleb B. Bradburn developed a sweet, cola-flavored, carbonated beverage, which was known as "Brad's Drink", which was intended to cure stomach pains. He renamed his syrup Pepsi Cola five years later.

Miami Beach pharmacist Benjamin Green invented the first suntan cream by cooking cocoa butter in a granite coffee pot on his wife's stove, and then testing the batch on his own head. His invention was introduced as Coppertone Suntan Cream in 1944.

The World Health Organization estimates that there are at least 2.6 million pharmacists and other pharmaceutical personnel worldwide.

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