The reconstruction of pharmacist authority in British Columbia, 1965-1968




Dove, Stephen

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Despite extensive research on the history of medicine, little has been written on the role played by pharmacists. The diminished demand for compounding services that accompanied the explosion of manufactured pharmaceuticals after World War II left pharmacists over educated and underutilized. This study demonstrates how British Columbia pharmacists reconstructed their professional authority in the 1960s through the formation of a Pharmacy Planning Commission, a process that pre-dated and influenced other jurisdictions. Examination of the archives of the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia reveals that pharmacists overcame ethical restrictions, adopted clinically focussed education and increased accessibility to facilitate a role as consultant to the public on non-prescription medications. The addition of prescription drug counselling and an increased role as drug consultants to physicians allowed British Columbia pharmacists the authority to claim a core competency as drug information experts.



Pharmacy, Pharmacist, Professionalization, ethics, medical, authority