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|135 pages

Origins, Development and Maturity

chapter 1|26 pages

The Earlier British National Pharmacopoeias

London, Edinburgh and Dublin

chapter 2|18 pages

Early Years


chapter 3|46 pages

Middle Years


chapter 4|44 pages

Later Years


part II|25 pages

The British Pharmacopoeia in International Context

part III|69 pages

Change and Continuity

chapter 7|40 pages

Changes in Therapeutics 1864–2014

chapter 8|28 pages

Changes in Analytical Methods 1864–2014