A Journey through the History of Drug Quality Control, from Greece to Costa Rica

  • Jeimy Blanco Barrantes Universidad de Costa Rica
  • María Soledad Quesada Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Costa Rica
  • Gustavo Rojas
  • Arlene Loría Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Costa Rica


This review describes the evolution and development of drug quality control throughout different times in history. A bibliographic research was conducted from the database JSTOR from the University of Costa Rica. This database contains information from academic journals and books from XIX to date. It covers different fields, such as anthropology, arts, biology, botany, health sciences, politics, pharmacy, history. Information was retrieved when the following words were present: pharmacy, quality, quality control, drugs, medicines, pharmacopoeia.

In ancient history India, China, Greece, Egypt, Africa and America used different medicinal plants to cure or alleviate disease. In some of these regions, methods were developed to make medicinal preparations as safe and effective as possible. In ancient Greece, the need to have a complete knowledge of drugs to carry out their proper preparation and detect adulterations was emerging. In Europe there was a constant development in the field, from books containing simple lists of preparations and medicines to more complex pharmacopoeias that included quality of the medicines. In America, the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) first appeared in 1820. In Costa Rica, the Specialized Laboratory for Drug Analysis, actually the Laboratory for Analysis and Pharmaceutical Consulting (LAYAFA), was created in 1965, to ensure the quality and safety of medicines registered and marketed in Costa Rica.

Differences between regulations and quality standards across centuries and countries, and their impact on the commercialization of medicines, have promoted regulations to harmonize the requirements related to different activities of the processes of manufacture, registration and quality control of medicines.

Keywords: Quality Control of Medicines, Costa Rica, Pharmacy, medicines, drugs, pharmacopoeia, LAYAFA


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How to Cite
Blanco Barrantes, J., M. S. Quesada, G. Rojas, and A. Loría. “A Journey through the History of Drug Quality Control, from Greece to Costa Rica”. International Journal of Drug Regulatory Affairs, Vol. 9, no. 1, Mar. 2021, pp. 33-47, doi:10.22270/ijdra.v9i1.454.