International Association For Pharmaceutical And Biomedical Analysis

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International Association For Pharmaceutical And Biomedical Analysis

The pharmacy profession can be traced back at least as far as the Sumerian population, living in modern day Iraq. From around 4000 BC, they used medicinal plants such as liquorice, mustard, myrrh, and opium. There were separate people who worked to prepare medicines, as a separate role from diagnosis and treatment which was carried out by medics. These precursors to pharmacists also combined their role with that of a priest. The Sumerians wrote the earliest surviving prescriptions from at least 2700 B.C. – so nearly 5000 years ago. The Ancient Egyptians had specific preparers of medicine, known as Pastophor. Pharmacy was viewed as a high status branch of medicine, and again, like the Sumerians, these pharmacists were also priests who worked and practised in the temples. From surviving papyrus scrolls, notably the Ebers Papyrus which dates from 1500 BC, we know that the Egyptians made and used infusions, ointments, lozenges, suppositories, lotions, enemas, and pills. The Ebers Papyrus includes 875 prescriptions and 700 drugs. Meanwhile, in China in about the same era (2000 BC), a man called Shen Nung wrote the first Pen T’sao or native herbal, which contained descriptions of 365 plant-based drugs. Stalls and shops selling medicinal goods existed around 1900 B.C. in the town of Sippara on the Euphrates river. However, the earliest recorded shop dealing with sales of medicines in London was opened in 1345.

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