By DeeAnn Alatsis
Central supply Manager / Certified Pharmacy Technician Liaison
Arlington Court Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center

Pharmacy Evolution

NOT YOUR AVERAGE PILL FACTS - Pharmacy

Have you ever found yourself doing something because you do it every day and not looking back into how it came about? Like when you put something in a recipe and say “that’s the way it’s always been done.”  Who suggested it in the first place and was it an accident or did they work to get it “just right?” My career at Arlington Court Nursing and Rehab focuses on two aspects of nursing home care – central supply and pharmacy connections. For my own entertainment and background knowledge I took a look at how the pharmacy world evolved.

Pharmacy records themselves date back to around 1500B.C. in Egypt. The established pharmacy as we know it today began in the 17th century England as a pharmacist guild that sprouted up “apothecaries” in the communities. The healing traditions of these apothecaries were brought over to the New World with the colonists. Benjamin Franklin is even considered a founding father of pharmacy as he dispensed medicine from a mercantile store – even before he discovered electricity! Walgreens was established in 1901 and CVS 1963. Of course there have been hundreds of other chain stores and “mom and pop” corner pharmacies that continue to pop up even to this day to serve our growing needs.

Innovations

Pharmacy has also been the catalyst for many great medicinal discoveries. But there have also been recreational creations and influences.  Dr Pepper was invented by a pharmacy technician in 1885 who was trying to replicate the favorite smell of his pharmacy and he liked the taste of his concoction. Coca Cola and Vernor’s Ginger Ale were both created by pharmacist shortly thereafter. All have gone on to be stables of our culture. Author Agatha Christie even turned her pharmacy technician knowledge / skills into the secrets of some of her greatest crime mystery novels.

The pharmacy world itself obviously has had many benefits to our lives. Medicine has helped us live longer, healthier and happier lives. But I still feel it is fun and interesting to find out the little known background facts and developments of something that on the face of it-we have taken for granted. Being creative and taking chances can lead to awesome things and sometimes the best “recipe”.