1st Edition

The British Pharmacopoeia, 1864 to 2014 Medicines, International Standards and the State

By Anthony C. Cartwright Copyright 2015

    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.

    Part I Origins, Development and Maturity; Chapter 1 The Earlier British National Pharmacopoeias; Chapter 2 Early Years; Chapter 3 Middle Years; Chapter 4 Later Years; Part II The British Pharmacopoeia in International Context; Chapter 5 British Pharmacopoeia and the European Pharmacopoeia; Chapter 6 International Harmonisation of Pharmacopoeias; Part III Change and Continuity; Chapter 7 Changes in Therapeutics 1864–2014; Chapter 8 Changes in Analytical Methods 1864–2014;


    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.

    "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