The College had been leading in research activities, among other units of the University and among other government research institutions. In recognition of this fact, the Congress had taken steps to support a research program of the College for the industrial development of drugs from Philippine Medicinal Plants. Under the deanship of Dr. Patrocinio Valenzuela, the College had asserted its leadership in educational and scientific fields, with emphasis on research. It has maintained its standard not only as a unit of the State University, but also as the leading center of pharmaceutical education of the country.
The recent trend that time, with emphasis on industrialization and mass production, had greatly affected the practice of pharmacy. There had not only been an unpopularity of compounded remedies, but there was also a growing tendency among medical practitioners and the public in general to make use of pharmaceutical specialities. To meet this particular situation, the College placed emphasis on training in pharmaceutical manufacturing. It was also for this same reason that a new course in Industrial Pharmacy was soon introduced.
Under the presidency of Dr. Vidal A. Tan, the College instituted a 5-year curriculum leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Industrial Pharmacy (BSIP) in 1951, with the government’s industrialization program and the latest pharmaceutical trends in mind. This was in keeping with the needs of the profession at the time.
A combination of pharmacy, chemistry, and engineering, the BSIP was designed to fill the needs of the pharmaceutical industry. This course prepares the students for the specific requirements of formulation, product development, production, packaging, quality control and the various other ramifications within the drug and cosmetic industries.
In 1952, the third department of the College, the Department of Industrial Pharmacy was established. This department offered subjects like Statistics and Production Costs, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Product Formulation, Product Formulation, Plant Production Control, Quality Control of Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, and Industrial Microbiology.
In 1979, former dean Natividad F. De Castro was designated as project leader of the National Science and Technology Authority – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (NSTA-PCHRD)-funded research project “Dosage Forms from Medicinal Plant Constituents.” This brought to the College much needed apparatus and processing equipment which were also used by the graduate and undergraduate students of Industrial Pharmacy. This project which began in Lingkod Bayan Award by President Corazon C. Aquino in 1988. This was just one of the several ongoing projects of the National Integrated Research Program on Medicinal Plants (NIRPROMP) with Dean De Castro as the program coordinator. Much later, in 2002, the UP Manila Gems and Jewels Awards named the Dosage Forms Project “Jewel 2002 Awardee” with a cash prize of P 100,000 donated by Pascual Laboratories.
Dr. de Castro was also the project coordinator under the NIRPROMP, on the research and development studies on Drug Formulation, Quality Assurance and Drug Evaluation on Dosage Forms from Philippine Medicinal Plants. Ten plants were identified with good therapeutic actions and three of these plants have now been licensed to a private pharmaceutical manufacturer – lagundi for cough and asthma, sambong as diuretic and kidney stone disintegrator, and tssang gubat for diarrhea. It is worth mentioning at this point that the first work on lagundi was done by Jonathan Anulude, a Nigerian who came to enroll at the College of Pharmacy. He was a graduate student of Dean de Castro. A silver medal award was given to Lagundi and Sambong tablets during the 25th International Exhibition of Innovations, New Techniques and Products held on April 11 to 20, 1997 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Currently, there is a continuity of researches about herbal drug development under NIRPROMP, Discovery and Development of Health Products (DDHP) Formulation group spearheaded by the two departments of the College (Department of Industrial Pharmacy and Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry), Drug-Herb Interaction Program, and PharmaFERN. There are also researches in the College pertaining to formulation of nanotechnology and pharmaceutical excipients, and other advanced drug delivery systems in collaboration with other academic institutions.