The history of pharmacy in India is age-old. Starting from Ayurveda to the modern-day allopathy System, we have witnessed various ways of treatment. The usage of pharma techniques in India saw two turning points.
First with the advent of Muslim rulers and then with English rulers who respectively brought Unani and allopathy. The history of pharmacy can be understood by dividing the timeline into two parts, that is pre and post of 19th Century.
Before the 19th century, there was only one word in the healthcare sector that was ‘Medicine’. But, this sector went through major transitions in this period on a global level. A new branch named pharmacy (now also known as Pharmacology) emerged. In 1821, The first school of pharmacy was established in Philadelphia of United States.
In India, the official emergence of Pharmacology as a branch of education started in the 1870s. When the first class of the chemist and druggist was organized at the Madras Medical College to impart the skills of pharmacy practice.
Then in 1881, the formal training of compounders started in Bengal. But the next 50 years remained stagnant for this field until the Banaras Hindu University started offering a degree course in pharma (Bachelors in Pharmacy) in 1937.
In 1944, the Punjab University of Lahore (now in Pakistan) also started the B.Pharmacy course. The two major differences in the education at these two universities were that BHU’s approach was industry-oriented and the Punjab University was oriented towards Pharmacy practice.
The education system in the field of pharmacy is growing at the pace of increasing need to get health professionals. The two approaches of education divided the pharmacists into two major sections.
First is the chemists we bought medicines from and, the second is the compounders whom we often see filling the syringe by compounding the medicines in the right amount. One at chemist shops and the other at the hospitals.
Today, according to recent studies and reports, India is the third-largest generic drug producer as we supply over 50% of global demand. According to the report by the Indian economic survey 2021, the domestic market is expected to grow 3 times in the next decade.