Real-Life Lessons for the Developing World
Chapter 1: Introduction
The origins of pharmaceuticals can be traced back to ancient times. The practice of medicine was at a relatively advanced stage in ancient civilisations. Naturally occurring substances were often used to heal wounds and to relieve pain and treat infections. Medicines were compounded from a variety of substances including the remains of animals, plants, and minerals, as well as from other traditional sources, for example, honey. The urbanisation process, which occurred following the Middle Ages, contributed to the development of the specialised field of apothecary, a method of formulating and dispensing materia medica for healing purposes. The process of drug manufacturing was associated with apothecaries, who specialised in preparing and dispensing drugs according to recognised standards. In the centuries that followed, these apothecaries became known as ‘chemists’ and ‘druggists’, many of whom initiated the process of drug discovery in their back-street shops. The Industrial Revolution, which began in the 18th century, changed the way of doing things dramatically. There was a clear shift from manual home productions to machine-based manufacturing that took place in factories. The development of new industries and factories coupled with the usage of new machinery contributed to the rising level of economic growth in Europe and North America. The Industrial Revolution began initially in Great Britain. It then spread throughout other European countries such as Germany, France and Switzerland, and also reached North America.