Pharmacy as science
Pharmacy was an integral part of medicine until the late Middle Ages. The foundations of modern pharmacy date from the Renaissance. The discovery of America in 1492 significantly increased the number of known plant species and thus stimulated the pharmacological study of plants.
The Renaissance also saw the expansion of research on inorganic and mineral remedies, most notably thanks to the Swiss Paracelsus. These investigations led to the birth of iatrochemistry, the first example of pharmaceutical chemistry.
In the seventeenth century, the leading advocate of the use of chemical remedies in medicine was the Frenchman Nicolas Lémery. But it was not before the eighteenth century that pharmacy, thanks to the work of another French scientist, Antoine Baumé, began to emerge as an independent science, emancipated from medicine and chemistry.
In fact, the second half of the eighteenth century witnessed the birth of experimental pharmacology, which proclaimed as its fundamental methodological principle the need for systematic experimentation, either in vitro or on living organisms. This direct approach enabled pharmacists to rapidly broaden their knowledge and hence to systematize the preparation of remedies with ever greater accuracy.
Last update 21/feb/2008