The British Pharmacopoeia, 1864 to 2014: Medicines, International Standards and the State, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The British Pharmacopoeia, 1864 to 2014

Medicines, International Standards and the State, 1st Edition

By Anthony C. Cartwright


266 pages

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Hardback: 9781472420329
pub: 2015-05-29
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The British Pharmacopoeia has provided official standards for the quality of substances, medicinal products and articles used in medicine since its first publication in 1864. It is used in over 100 countries and remains an essential global reference in pharmaceutical research and development and quality control. This book explores how these standards have been achieved through a comprehensive review of the history and development of the pharmacopoeias in the UK, from the early London, Edinburgh and Dublin national pharmacopoeias to the creation of the British Pharmacopoeia and its evolution over 150 years. Trade in medicinal substances and products has always been global, and the British Pharmacopoeia is placed in its global context as an instrument of the British Empire as it first sought to cover the needs of countries such as India and latterly as part of its role in international harmonisation of standards in Europe and elsewhere. The changing contents of the pharmacopoeias over this period reflect the changes in medical practice and the development of dosage forms from products dispensed by pharmacists to commercially manufactured products, from tinctures to the latest monoclonal antibody products. The book will be of equal value to historians of medicine and pharmacy as to practitioners of medicine, pharmacy and pharmaceutical analytical chemistry.


"In this book Cartwright illustrates the shifting nature of the BP’s purpose, its contents, and its intended audience, over the 150 years from 1864 to 2014… the book has much to offer historians of medicine." - Stuart Anderson, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,Bulletin of the History of Medicine

About the Author

Anthony C. Cartwright is a retired Pharmaceutical Regulatory Consultant with over 40 years involvement with national and international regulatory standards for pharmaceuticals, and over 30 years involvement with the British Pharmacopoeia, firstly as an employee and then as a member of its advisory committees. He has written many reviews and research articles, written and co-edited three text books on pharmaceutical regulation and contributed chapters to four others.

About the Series

The History of Medicine in Context

An interest in medicine is one of the constants that re-occurs throughout history. From the earliest times, man has sought ways to combat the myriad of diseases and ailments that afflict the human body, resulting in a number of evolving and often competing philosophies and practices whose repercussions spread far beyond the strictly medical sphere.

For more than a decade The History of Medicine in Context series has provided a unique platform for the publication of research pertaining to the study of medicine from broad social, cultural, political, religious and intellectual perspectives. Offering cutting-edge scholarship on a range of medical subjects that cross chronological, geographical and disciplinary boundaries, the series consistently challenges received views about medical history and shows how medicine has had a much more pronounced effect on western society than is often acknowledged. As medical knowledge progresses, throwing up new challenges and moral dilemmas, The History of Medicine in Context series offers the opportunity to evaluate the shifting role and practice of medicine from the long perspective, not only providing a better understanding of the past, but often an intriguing perspective on the present.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century