Preface to the British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911.
During the four years which have elapsed since the British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1907, was issued, the work has been subjected to extensive criticism and discussion, and numerous suggestions or recommendations have been submitted to the Pharmaceutical Society, in response to the Council's invitation to pharmacists throughout the British Empire to co-operate in rendering the Codex more generally useful and valuable as a book of reference. Much valuable material for revision was thus accumulated, and in January, 1910, the Society's Publications Committee reported to the Council that the preliminary work in connection with the revision of the Codex, which had been conducted under the direction of Mr. John Humphrey, was now so far advanced that it was hoped shortly to have proofs ready to submit to the Codex Revision Committee, consisting of Messrs. Charles T. Allen, Horace Finnemore, B.Sc. Lond., F.I.C., Frederic W. Gamble, Frank Goldby, W. Fred. Gulliver, and Edward F. Harrison, B.Sc. Lond., F.I.C. With this Committee were associated Professor W. E. Dixon, F.R.S., MA, Cantab., M.D., B.S., B.Sc. Lond., as consulting pharmacologist, Mr. Edmund, White, B.Sc. Lond., F.I.C., as representative of the Council, and Mr. W. J. Uglow Woolcock as Secretary, while Miss Dorothy M. Braithwaite was appointed to conduct laboratory work in practical pharmacy. The work of revision was commenced forthwith, and the result is a book of reference which, it is believed, will be regarded by medical practitioners and pharmacists as a considerable improvement upon the tentative first issue of the Codex.
The plan of the work, as described in the Preface to the British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1907, has been modified in certain respects, the most important changes being (1) the addition of brief descriptive notes on the preparations of each drug and chemical, at the end of the respective monographs, (2) the relegation of the working formulae for all B.P.C. preparations to a separate section of the book, and (3) the inclusion of a pharmacological and therapeutic index, in which all the medicaments are grouped in a single alphabetical list, according to their pharmacological action, their general therapeutic use, and their application in special ailments. Further, where drugs, chemicals, and galenical preparations described in the Codex are official in the British Pharmacopoeia, or the Pharmacopoeia of the United States of America, that fact is indicated. Grateful acknowledgement is due to the Board of Trustees of the Pharmacopoeia of the United States for the courteous manner in which they have granted permission freely to use the text of that Pharmacopoeia in revising the Codex. Reference is also made to the source of non-official preparations mentioned in the book, and of some which were formerly official, while attention has been directed to the recommendations of the Brussels Conference on the Unification of Pharmacopoeial Formulas for Potent Drugs.
In the B.P.C. Formulary, which contains the tested results of suggestions from expert practising pharmacists, quantities are given in centesimal proportions as formerly; but, in addition, exact quantities are indicated in Imperial weights and measures. The atomic weights used are those adopted by the International Committee in its report for the year 1911. With regard to standards of purity for chemical substances, the statement "free from" must be understood to indicate the highest practicable (not ideal) purity, involving freedom from objectionable traces of the possible impurities mentioned. Information formerly given in footnotes is now embodied in the text of the monographs; this includes references to trade-protected names which can only be legally applied to products of firms or individuals in whom proprietary rights in those names are vested. The attention of dispensers is again directed to the fact that, when a medicament is ordered under a proprietary trade-name, it is not permissible to substitute a similar product to which that trade-name does not legally apply. At the same time, it should be remembered that some substances originally introduced into medicine and first tested, pharmacologically and in clinical practice, under protected trade-names are held to be of a higher standard of excellence than similar products supplied under their chemical names.
In conclusion, it only remains to acknowledge the assistance rendered to the Codex Revision Committee by members of the Pharmaceutical Society, and of the Society's Staff, including Professor A. W. Crossley, F.R.S., D.Sc., Professor H. G. Greenish, F.I.C., Mr. E. M. Holmes, F.L.S., Curator, Mr. Alex. Gunn, and Mr. A. J. Chater, Assistant Secretary. Among those members of the Society who readily responded to the Committee's invitation to cooperate in the work of revision, the Council is especially indebted to the following: Mr. C. T. Bennett, B.Sc. Lond., F.I.C. (London), Mr. R. R. Bennett, B.Sc. Lond., F.I.C. (London), Mr. J. O. Braithwaite (Chingford), Mr. W. M. Cooper (London), Mr. Thomas Dunlop (Glasgow), Mr. J. Evans, F.I.C. (Sheffield), Mr. J. A. Forret (Edinburgh), Mr. S. Furnival (Windsor), Mr. A. W. Gerrard (Birmingham), Mr. J. A. Jennings (London), Mr. W. H. Lenton (Hunstanton), Mr. William Lyon (Leith), Mr. A. G. C. Paterson (Ilford), Mr. E. Saville Peck, M.A., Cantab. (Cambridge), Mr. Ernest Quant (Torquay), Mr. H. Rodwell (London), Mr. W. F. J. Shepheard (Chester), Mr. A. B. Shewell (London), Mr. J. W. Taplin (London), Mr. T. E. Tawell (London), and Mr. Robert Wright (Buxton).
October 1, 1911.