The drugs used by the physicians and apothecaries were purchased from the grossarii or sellers in gross, who were subsequently called 'grocers, some of whom specialized as druggists and others as chymists or chemists.
Soon after the apothecaries were formed into a separate company they took into consideration means to prevent the frauds and adulterations practised by the grocers and druggists, and, to remedy the evil, established a manufactory of their own in 1626 so that they might make preparations for their own members.
In 1748 the Apothecaries' Corporation obtained a charter empowering them to license apothecaries to sell medicines in London, or within 7 m., and intended to use it to restrain chemists and druggists from practising pharmacy, and to prohibit physicians and surgeons from selling the medicines they prescribed; but the apothecaries, by paying increased attention to medical and surgical practice, had not only alienated the physicians and surgeons, but materially strengthened the position of chemists and druggists as dispensers of prescriptions.
When a further attempt was made in 1815 to bring a bill into parliament including provisions for prohibiting the practice of pharmacy by uneducated persons, and giving power to examine dispensing chemists, the latter became alarmed, and, finding that the provisions of the bill were entirely in the interests of the apothecaries, and directed against chemists and druggists, the latter took measures to oppose it in parliament, which were so far successful as to prevent apothecaries from interfering in' any way with, or obtaining any control over, chemists and druggists.
The chemists and druggists, recognizing that no institution for the systematic education and examination of chemists and druggists existed in England, and that no proof could be given that each individual possessed the necessary qualifications, decided that this objection must be met, and that pharmacy must be placed upon a more scientific footing.
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