Images courtesy of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
British Society for the History of Pharmacy

A History of Pharmacy in Great Britain by Dr Stuart Anderson

Pharmacy in Britain before 1841
In most European countries, including England, apothecaries developed from the Pepperers and Spicers. English traders in spicery, which included crude drugs and prepared medicines, evolved into either Grocers or Apothecaries and became a distinct occupational group in the thirteenth century. Click here to read more

Pharmacy in Britain 1841 to 1911
The modern history of British pharmacy begins with the foundation of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 1841. In that year William Allen moved a resolution that 'an Association be now formed under the title of The Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain'. By the end of 1841 the new Society had around 800 members and by May 1842 nearly 2000. Click here to read more

Pharmacy in Britain 1911 to 1948
A major influence on pharmacy practice has been the extent of the powers of the Pharmaceutical Society. In 1920 Arthur Jenkin took out an injunction to restrain the Council of the Society from undertaking a range of activities, including the regulation of pay and conditions of service, to function as an employers' association, and to provide legal and insurance services to members. Click here to read more

Pharmacy in Britain 1948 to 1986
By 1946, 24 million workers were covered by National Insurance - about half of the working population. The National Health Service, introduced on 5 July 1948, made the service available to everyone. Click here to read more

Pharmacy in Britain, 1986 to the present
In the early 1980s there was uncertainty about the future of pharmacy. Click here to read more