History of pharmacy in the United States
The history of pharmacy in the United States is the story of a melting pot of new pharmaceutical ideas and innovations drawn from advancements that Europeans shared, Native American medicine and newly discovered medicinal plants in the New World. American pharmacy grew from this fertile mixture, and has impacted U.S. history, and the global course of pharmacy. Apothecary—an ancient title that, especially in pre-modern or early modern contexts, indicates a broader set of skills and duties than the core role of dispensing medications, like prescribing remedies and even giving some treatments difficult to self-administer, e.g. enemas—have largely been within the ""pharmacist"" umbrella in the U.S. since the mid-19th century, when Edward Parrish of the American Pharmaceutical Association successfully proposed that the APhA ""consider all the varied pharmaceutical practitioners 'pharmacists'” to better ""standardize the field."" Unlike in the UK, where pharmacists were separated from apothecaries by Parliament and the pharmacist had effectively eclipsed the ancient apothecary, appellations and professions have been far more fluid and overlapping in the U.S., especially prior to the regulatory schemes widely adopted in the late 19th century. ""Apothecary"" still crops up as synonym for pharmacist, along with ""druggist,"" and has yet to fall entirely out of use, with some in the U.S. still calling themselves apothecaries. As the pharmacist increasingly became the distinct discipline and tightly-defined profession it is today, American pharmacists added their own discoveries and innovations, and played a prominent role in the revolution in medical knowledge in the 19th and 20th centuries and the subsequent development of modern medicine.The history of pharmacy has lagged behind other fields in the history of science and medicine, perhaps because primary sources in the field are sparse. Historical inquiries in this area have been few, and unlike the growing number of programs in the history of medicine, history of pharmacy programs remain few in number in the United States.