I am a graduate of the institution known formerly as the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (PCP&S) - the first college of pharmacy in North America, established in 1821. The college, now called University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, counts among its alumni John Wyeth, Silas M. Burroughs, Sir Henry Wellcome, several members of the Eli Lilly and McNeil families, and other historical figures in pharmacy among founders of what have now become large pharmaceutical companies.
Although I was among the 35% of students in the “and Science” side of PCP&S, earning a BS in Toxicology, I was there at a time before Big Pharma had acquired much of the bad name it often carries today and we took great pride in our college’s rich history and contributions to modern medicine. In particular PCP&S graduates were critical players in combating snake oil hucksters in the early 1900s and establishing chemical standards, safety, and efficacy guidelines for therapeutic agents.
So it is with disbelief that I learned my alma mater plans to award an Honorary Doctorate of Science to a major leader in homeopathy - on Founders’ Day, no less. The press release is here.
Dr. Kroll's letter to University President Philip P. Gerbino and Provost Russell J. DiGate can be found here. Dr. Gerbino's disappointing response and Dr. Kroll's comments are here. Dr. Kroll also received a disappointing response from the president of the student government.