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A History of Western Pharmacy in China

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1. Auflage, 2024

'This book represents an important contribution to the field as it is the first to provide a detailed account of the interaction between Chinese and western medicine from a pharmacy perspective over a period of two millennia with an emphasis on the modern period from 1800-1949. None of the existing historiography on the relationship between TCM and western medicine has so far explored pharmaceutical aspects in detail. This book therefore fills an important gap in the literature and is likely to become a key resource for further study. It will be of interest to a wide audience, including pharmaceutical, imperial, and business historians, and should be essential reading for pharmacy students. But it will also be of interest to a general readership curious about the history of pharmacy in China and of western influences on Chinese medicine.

Stuart Anderson, BSc, MA, PhD, FRPharmS

Editor-in-Chef, Pharmaceutical Historian, Emeritus Professor of Pharmacy History, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

'Readers of this book, to Chiu's credit, will be exposed to the nuanced cultural, medico-scientific, and business interactions that shaped Western pharmacy in China. Chiu puts a spotlight on the various materials, techniques, and processes of drug formulation and mass manufacture - and he rightly illustrates how pharmacy was substantiated as big business and mass manufacture. In analyses that incorporate materia medica and so-called dangerous drugs, such as opium, Chiu also articulates the complicated entangled histories of the movement, circulation, and translation of both pharmacy knowledge and goods. Yet, he appropriately acknowledges and evaluates non-Western epistemologies and practices that intermingled with Western ideas to create a novel type of pharmacy and pharmaceutical industry in China.

                                                                                                       Lucas Richert, PhD

Professor & George Urdang Chair in Pharmacy History, UW-Madison

Executive Director, American Institute of the History of Pharmacy'

Patrick Chiu's book, A History of Western Pharmacy in China, effectively presents an unbiased perspective when discussing the contributions of expatriate pharmacy academics towards the development of China's pharmaceutical profession and the modern drug industry in the first half of the twentieth century. Chiu's impartial approach and well-researched content make it a recommended resource for understanding the historical development of pharmacy in China.

  • Kazushige Morimoto Ph.D. D.Min, Education System - Qualified Pharmacist, President, The Japanese Society for the History of Pharmacy 

Throughout his career, Patrick has worked in various sectors of pharmacy, including community, hospital, and industrial pharmacy. He has held senior leadership positions with global biotech and health care companies and NGOs, such as BD, Chi Heng Foundation, Monsanto, Molnlycke Health Care, Nature's Bounty, and Roche, primarily in Greater China and the Asia Pacific region.

Since 2000, Patrick has dedicated himself to independent research in the history of exotic elements of materia medica including hulu originating from the ancient Silk Roads. Over the past decade, he has focused on scholarly research concerning Western pharmacy in China's treaty ports and Colonial Hong Kong. His sixth book 'A History of Western Pharmacy in China' is now launched by Springer Nature in January 2024.

Inspired by the seminal work of KC Wong and Wu Lien-Teh's 'Chinese History of Medicine,' which was published ninety years ago in 1933, Patrick is currently engaged in a collaborative effort with academics and practitioners from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and overseas. Together, they are working on a five-volume series titled 'Chinese History of Pharmacy: From Shennong to Tu Youyou'. The series aims to provide a comprehensive account of the evolution and development of pharmacy in China throughout history.

The anticipated release of this significant series is scheduled to take place online, commencing in the second half of 2024. With contributions from experts across different regions and backgrounds, this ambitious project promises to shed light on the rich and diverse heritage of Chinese pharmacy, offering valuable insights into its ancient origins and contemporary advancements.

Patrick is the founder and president of the Hong Kong Society for the History of Pharmacy. He is a regular contributor to the Pharmaceutical Historian and serves as a senior non-resident fellow at Shanghai University. 

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