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November 16, 1907


Author Affiliations

Apothecary at the German Hospital, and Member of the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association. PHILADELPHIA.

JAMA. 1907;XLIX(20):1659-1662. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.25320200017002c

The practice of pharmacy in American hospitals dates back to 1752, when Jonathan Roberts was duly appointed to preside over the recently established apothecary shop in the Pennsylvania Hospital at Philadelphia. This appointing of an apothecary by the managers of the Pennsylvania Hospital marks the introduction of the dispensing of prescriptions by other than the physician or his apprentice, and may, in fact, be considered as the beginning of pharmacy in this country.

The advantage and the importance of this branch of hospital work was further recognized in 1768 by the erection of a special building, or an "elaboratory," in which to prepare the medicines to be used in the treatment of the sick.

That the innovation of having prescriptions compounded by other than the physician or his apprentice had a beneficent influence on the medical staff connected with the hospital is perhaps best illustrated by the subsequent career of

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