From Physick to Pharmacology : Five Hundred Years of British Drug Retailing book cover
1st Edition

From Physick to Pharmacology
Five Hundred Years of British Drug Retailing

Edited By

Louise Hill Curth

ISBN 9781138266308
Published February 27, 2017 by Routledge
188 Pages

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Book Description

From Physick to Pharmacology addresses the important, albeit neglected history of the distribution and sale of medicinal drugs in England from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century. The social history of early medicine and the evolution of British retailing are two areas that have attracted considerable attention from academics in recent years. That said, little work has been done either by medical or business historians on the actual retailing of drugs. This book merges the two themes by examining the growth in the retailing of medicinal drugs since late-medieval times. The six academics contributing essays include both medical and business historians who provide an informed and stimulating perspective on the subject. After an introduction setting out the context of drug retailing and surveying the current literature, the volume is arranged in a broadly chronological order, beginning with Patrick Wallis's study of apothecaries and other medical retailers in early modern London. The next chapter, by Louise Hill Curth, looks at the way the distribution network expanded to encompass a range of other retail outlets to sell new, branded, pre-packaged proprietary drugs. Steven King then examines various other ways in which medicines were sold in the eighteenth century, with a focus on itinerant traders. This is followed by pieces from Hilary Marland on the rise of chemists and druggists in the nineteenth century, and Stuart Anderson on twentieth-century community pharmacists. The final essay, by Judy Slinn, examines the marketing and consumption of prescription drugs from the middle of that century until the present day. Taken together, these essays provide a fascinating insight into the changes and continuities of five centuries of drug retailing in England.

Table of Contents

Contents: General editor's preface. Introduction: Perspectives on the evolution of the retailing of pharmaceuticals, Louise Hill Curth; Apothecaries and the consumption and retailing of medicines in early modern London, Patrick Wallis; Medical advertising in the popular press: almanacs and the growth of proprietary medicines, Louise Hill Curth; Accessing drugs in the eighteenth-century regions, Steven King; 'The doctor's shop': the rise of the chemist and druggist in nineteenth-century manufacturing districts, Hilary Marland; From 'bespoke' to 'off-the-peg': community pharmacists and the retailing of medicines in Great Britain 1900 to 1970, Stuart Anderson; 'A cascade of medicine': the marketing and consumption of prescription drugs in the UK 1948-2000, Judy Slinn; Index.

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'... thoroughly enjoyable book... In terms of pharmacy history, it covers new ground in many areas and provides an insightful overview of existing material in others... the book would be a very welcome addition to the pharmacy historian's bookshelf. Its argument that medicines need particularly adept analysis and cannot be considered in the same way as other commodities is neatly demonstrated by all the authors.' Pharmaceutical Historian ’... a welcome supplement to a growing body of work on the origins and development of British drug manufacture...This excellent collection of articles [...] is a valuable addition to our understanding or exactly how the modern, not just the British, pharmaceutical industry became the Janus-faced giant of today.’ Enterprise & Society ’This well-constructed edited collection provides an overview of five centuries of British drug distribution through a series of chapters organized in chronological order, each written by a specialist in the field... I therefore feel confident that readers of Medical History will find much of interest in this volume, which I heartily recommend.’ Medical History ’The volume will serve as an excellent entry point to the topic for researchers and students alike.’ Economic History Review ’This book provides a much needed addition to the literature on the development of pharmaceutical retailing in Britain. Not only will it be of interest to pharmaceutical, medical and business historians, but, given the availability of medicines today from locations ranging from the supermarket to the internet, it also provides all consumers with a clearer insight into how the modern retail drugs trade has evolved.’ Ambix ’The book is commendable both for the high quality of its individual contributions and as a useful overview. More than the sum of its parts, it offers specialists and students of medical history as well as practitioners of medicine insights into key stages of the inexorable hi