One hundred and twenty years has passed since Dr. Lyman Spalding, a physician, issued a call for "gentlemen, willing to act and men distinguished for their ability and learning" to formulate a pharmacopeia. Their object was to "select from among substances which possess medicinal power, those, the utility of which is most fully established and best understood; and to form from them preparations and compositions in which their powers may be exerted to the greatest advantage." These articles were to be distinguished by "convenient and definite names."
During its early history the Pharmacopeia was decidedly an undertaking by physicians. Gradually the necessity for pharmaceutical advice developed, and the revisions of the last three editions have been dominated largely by those representing pharmacy rather than medicine. In the 1920 revision there was a fortunate agreement whereby the scope of the pharmacopeia was left entirely to the medical members of the Revision
THE ELEVENTH REVISION OF THE PHARMACOPEIA OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. JAMA. 1935;105(25):2074–2075. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760510046013
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