8 Interesting Pharmacy Facts

DECEMBER 21, 2015
Are you familiar with the following interesting facts about pharmacy?

1. Coca-Cola was invented by a pharmacist named John Pemberton. He carried the jug of the new product down the street to Jacob's Pharmacy where it was sampled and pronounced "excellent" and placed on sale for 5 cents a glass as a soda fountain drink.
Another pharmacist, Charles Alderton, invented Dr. Pepper. Pepsi was also invented by a pharmacist, as was Vernor’s Ginger Ale by Detroit pharmacist James Vernor.

2. The first licensed pharmacist set up shop in the French Quarter. Louis Dufilho Jr. of New Orleans became American’s first licensed pharmacist in the early 1800s. Prior to then, you did not need a license to become a pharmacist.

3. The global pharmaceuticals market is worth $300 billion.

4. Benjamin Franklin was a pharmacist, while Agatha Christie was a pharmacy technician.

5. Lipitor is the best-selling drug of all time. It was introduced in 1997 and its patent expired in 2011, making about $125 billion.

6. Insulin is one of the most common medications that cause adverse events.

7. Hydrocodone/acetaminophen is the most commonly prescribed medication in the United States. Lisinopril is No. 2, as of 2014.

8. The most expensive drug is Glybera at a wholesale cost of $1.21 million per year. It is a gene therapy that helps restore lipoprotein lipase enzyme activity in those with familial lipoprotein lipase deficiency. Only 1 million patients have this extremely rare condition.

Beth Lofgren, PharmD, BCPS
Beth Lofgren, PharmD, BCPS
Beth Lofgren, PharmD, BCPS, received her PharmD degree from the University of Tennessee at Memphis in 1999, after completing a BS at the University of Tennessee at Martin. She started her pharmacy career in retail and has practiced in home health, long-term care, and hospital pharmacy. She has also been blogging as the Blonde Pharmacist since 2004, focusing on education for peers and provider status for pharmacists.