In India, the history of pharmacy can be split into three sections: ancient, pre-independence, and post-independence.

Ancient pharmacy

According to tradition, Lord Brahma was the first teacher of the Universe, who wrote "Ayurveda" about 500 B.C. Sushruta, Vishwamitra's son, worked in the art of surgery. Internal medicine is the focus of Ayurveda, while surgical medicine is the focus of Sushruta-Samhita. Sushruta and Charaka were physicians and pharmacists who investigated over 1000 plants. Their adherents had been using Ayurveda for medical purposes. With the great evolution of Buddhism, it eventually swept throughout Asia. According to Vedic literature, Lord Dhanvantari was adored as the "God of Health." The use of various herbs in the treatment of ailments is referenced in the 'Rigveda,' a literature that includes hymns for soma and herbs. During the reign of King "Ashoka the Great" in 226 BC, the concept of hospital was established and put into reality. During the year 900 AD, organized hospital activity for the treatment of people with disease was discovered in Tamil Nadu. In his book 'Cologuiousdos stroples a drogus da indica', published in 1983, Portuguese practitioner Garcia de Orta mentioned the usage of Indian botanicals. In the 15th century, a British trader brought the allopathic system to India. During Muslim dominion, the Indian system of medicine collapsed, while the Arabic or Unani-Tibbi system prospered. In 1664, Madras established the first general hospital. Under British administration, the Allopatic system had state support and grew in popularity towards the end of the nineteenth century.

Pre-independence Pharmacy

In 1811, Scotch Bathgate opened the first pharmacy business in Calcutta. Various actions linked to pharmacy were undertaken according to the London pharmacopoeia in the nineteenth century. In India, this condition has pushed back the customary practise of utilising medications. The 'Bengal Dispensatory and Pharmacopoeia' was produced by decree of the government in 1841 at Bishop's College Press in Calcutta. Under Waring's editorship, the 'Pharmacopoeia of India' was published in 1868. Mohideen Sheriff compiled a list of vernacular names for Indian medicinal plants and herbs in 1869. The first examination for chemists and druggists was held in India in 1870, marking the beginning of the pharmacy profession in India. In Bengal, organised training for compounders began in 1881. Ayurvedic, Unani, and Allopathy were the treatment approaches for the most common diseases and ailments between 1901 and 1930.

Animal trials for lymph were undertaken in Madras in 1879, with initial success in 1880, while research work began in Bombay in 1832. Small centres for the manufacturing of small pox vaccine and lague were created by the British government at Haffkine Institute in Mumbai in 1899 and King's Institute in Madras in 1905. In India, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray founded the first pharmaceutical company, Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical Works, in Calcutta in 1901. Prof. T.k Thakkar established a modest pharmaceutical unit in Parel, Mumbai, in 1903. In 1907, the Baroda arrived in Gujrat. 'spencer and co.' in Madras, 'Madon and co.' and 'kemp and co.' in Bombay, and 'Whitehall Pharmacy' in Calcutta were among the British who held pharmacies throughout the independence period.

During this time, India's drugs were largely exported in raw form and imported in completed form. Imports of pharmaceuticals were halted during World War I. Imported medications were not subject to any quality controls. The producers outside took advantage of the circumstance and to restrict pharmacy practised in1930,'Dangerous Drug Act' was passed. On August 11, 1930, the Government of India created a Drug Enquiry Committee, chaired by late Col. R. N. Chopra, to investigate the difficulties of the pharmacy profession in India and recommend measures to prevent unethical acts. The 'Drug Bill' was purchased by the British government in 1940 to regulate the import, manufacturing, sale, and distribution of medicines in British India. The 'Drug and Cosmetics Act 1940' was eventually passed. Up until 1940, India was the sole source of allopathic medications. The first 'Drugs Technical Advisory Board' was established under this act in 1941. At KEM Hospital in Mumbai, the first pharmacist position was created and filled.

Post-independence Pharmacy

India inherited a disorganised pharmacy system from the British authorities when it gained independence in 1947, and there were no legislative constraints on the practise of pharmacy. The 'Pharmacy Act' was enacted in 1948 as the country's first minimum education requirement for pharmacy profession. The Act's provisions are carried out by the 'Pharmacy Council of India(PCI)'. Individual states are required by the Act to create state pharmacy councils that are in charge of overseeing and registering pharmacists in their jurisdictions.

Today, India's pharmaceutics business is one of the largest and most advanced among emerging countries, with pharmacists performing a wide range of functions. In addition to building manufacturing research and development and marketing bases in India, global pharmaceutical corporations are creating long-term connections with Indian pharmaceutical enterprises and contract manufacturing affiliates. There are hundreds of ayurvedic producers in India, ranging from tiny businesses to major corporations. Pharmacists of the new generation now work in the community, hospitals, clinical research, regulatory, pharmaceutical bulk and finished product sectors, and academia.

According to the Indian 'Retail Druggists and Chemists Association,' there were approximately 10,000 distribution pharmacies and 125000 retail pharmacies in India in 1978. There are currently over 8 lakh registered pharmacists working in the pharmacy profession. Every year, nearly 6 lakh pharmacy students enter the profession, with diploma pharmacy students handling the majority of the work. The State Pharmacy Council organises various refresher training programmes for retail pharmacists as well as to raise consumer awareness among pharmacists in order for them to provide direct patient care. Since the last three decades, PCI, IPA, and pharmacy leaders have worked together to improve the profession's activities. The transition of the pharmacy profession from pharmacy practise to industry resulted in the development of the modern Indian pharmaceutical industry, which is now the third largest in terms of volume and the fourteenth largest in terms of value. E-Pharmacy, or the online sale of medicines, is a recent development in the pharmacy profession. In India, the e-pharmacy industry is still in its infancy. Netmeds, EasyMedico, and other well-known brands are available in the market. Startups such as 1mg, practo, and myra pepper the market. Even traditional chemists, such as Apollo Pharmacy, have launched an e-pharmacy division.