General Introduction

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Chapter: Forensic Pharmacy : General Introduction

The word Forensic is derived from Latin term Forencis means a forum, a place for interaction or deliberations.

General Introduction

The word Forensic is derived from Latin term Forencis means a forum, a place for interaction or deliberations. Jurisprudence means study of fundamentallaws and in case of pharmaceutical Jurisprudence, it is laws relating to pharmacy.

Forensic Pharmacy or Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence is that branch of pharmacy, which deals with various legislations pertaining to, drugs and pharmaceuticals and profession of pharmacy. This subject encompasses the knowledge of various Acts, Rules, Statues, Schedules, Sections etc., which directly or indirectly influence the profession of pharmacy in the country and various operations pertaining to procurement. manufacture and distribution of different kinds of dosage forms.

The knowledge of Forensic Pharmacy is essential to understand the legal aspects pertaining to practice of pharmacy. The qualified persons, are required to profess and should also be engaged in manufacturing, sale and distribution of drugs. Pharmacy is a noble and dedicated profession with a commitment to the cause of health care system of the country. In order to ensure this professional role of pharmacist, there has to be an ethical framework within which a pharmacist is supposed to function. He/she should be familiar with the types of laws governing his/her profession and also the developments that have contributed to the current status of pharma education, pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical industry.

Since ancient times, the human race has been depending upon the plant-derived drugs for the treatment of different human diseases. Apart from our own civilization Chinese, Greek, Arabian and Tibetian civilization have contributed significantly to the knowledge of medicinal plants. In our country Ayurveda, the Ancient Science of Life, based on 'Tridosh' theory of Vaat(wind), Pitta (bile) and Kapha(phlegm) is practiced from time immemorial. Our treaties or documents such as 'Vedas' and 'Upanishadas' are full of information pertaining to medicinal plants. In ancient days, the medical care was in the able hands of 'Maharshis' and 'Vaids' who had a special status in the society. There was also the Siddha medicine mainly practiced in southern regions of the country.

With the advent of Moghul rulers specially Babur, there came in a new system of medicine practiced by Hakims called as Unani System of Medicine, which got patronage during the rule of Shahjahan and Aurangazeb. With the arrival of East India and other European companies and thereafter, British rule in Nineteenth Century .the Indian population was first introduced to the Allopathic System of Medicine more commonly known as "Vilayati Medicines". The modern system of medicine was introduced in India by the Dutch, the French, the Portugese and East India trading companies and the missionaries from European countries.

Until the end of the Nineteenth Century, the medicines of different systems were mostly derived from plants or other natural sources like animals and minerals. These drugs were in the form of extracts, tinctures, pills and pastes and most of them were freshly prepared. The Ayurvedic medical practitioners were mostly hereditary and they were following Guru-Shishya parampara, which was also true of Siddha and Unani practitioners (Hakims). The Homeopaths were self-taught and relied mostly on Iiterature from Germany. In the absence of legal requirements of registration as doctor, a large number of quacks surfaced in medical profession.

The hospital facilities were almost non-existent in rural areas. The railway administration and plantations provided good services to their employees. The missionaries and charity hospitals for communities were serving limited cause of health care.

In British India, the European establishments like Kemp and Company; Bliss and Cotton; and Frank Ross and Company were the important pharmacies. The Indian companies in British India were Popular Pharmacy at Bombay. Dadha and Company, Wilfred Perira Ltd, and Appah and Company at Madras; H.C. Sen and Company and The Young Friends and Company at Delhi; Beli Ram and Brothers, The Punjab Medical Hall and Narayan Das Bhagwan Das and Company at Lahore; and Butto Kristo Paul and Company and M. Bhattacharya and Company at Calcutta.

There were no legally controlled systematic manufacturing efforts in the country for the manufacturing of different drug formulations to be used for a longer period. It was only when plant drugs were further processed/purified, and synthetic, as well as, semi-synthetic compounds of medicinal utility were manufactured and formulated in different dosage forms, the need to enact the laws to govern various operations of manufacture, sale and distribution was acutely felt.

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