PharmWeb was launched in 1994 as an online community of pharmacy, pharmaceutical and healthcare-related professionals with over 40,000 self-registered users (probably significantly higher as we stopped monitoring in the 90s). PharmWeb was the first pharmaceutical portal and one of the oldest web sites on the Internet when it closed in August 2016.
PharmWeb was a fantastic achievement and a great deal of fun, particularly in the pioneering wild west days of the early 1990s when the Internet was in its infancy. In 2000 we were the subject of a �20 million buyout!
PharmWeb was only possible with the support of many colleagues, friends and of course the support of my long suffering partner Felicity. I recall in the early days when many colleagues dismissed the (phenomenon that was the) Internet as a flash in the pan! We were not deterred and predicted the information revolution that has come to pass, and indeed many of the services launched on PharmWeb were pioneering at the time. Much of the early services were the result of the programming skills of the team behind PharmWeb as many of today’s off the shelf packages were just a twinkle in a developer’s eye.
Whilst there are too many people to thank individually, I would like to particularly acknowledge a few people who were part of the PharmWeb journey:
John passed away in 2010. John was a friend and drinking partner and introduced me to the Internet in the early 1990s with the launch of Mosaic. Development of PharmWeb would not have been possible without John’s knowledge of Unix, programming skills and enthusiasm. He is missed by all those who knew him.
Tony was an undergraduate and postgraduate student when I was at the University of Manchester. Tony had a passion for technology and whilst much of the software ran off a Unix box, many of the databases and online forms were delivered from a Mac server and Tony was responsible for much of the development work. I have lost touch with Tony, but if you read this, the Apple PowerMac G4 (450MHz) server (running Mac OS 9.0.4) we set up in November 1999 was still in operation until the site closed in 2016!
Commercialisation within an academic environment has its moments, Rich helped me to maintain my sanity in some of the more interesting moments.
Mirror Site Hosts
Many people reading this may not recall the Internet of the 1990s where connectivity across the continents was often patchy. Colleagues across the globe hosted PharmWeb mirror sites, and it was a pleasure to meet some of them in person during my travels.
- Gail Higgins at The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
- Newton Pereira at the Department of Pharmacy, University of S o Paulo, Ribeir o Preto, Brazil.
- Terry Moorby at Industry Canada, Canada.
- Laszlo L Tornoci and Janos Glanz at Pro Patiente – Health and Medicine, Budapest, Hungary.
- Kenji Ishikawa and Michiko Yamamoto at The National Institute of Health Sciences, Tokyo, Japan.
- Elize van Dijken and Banie Boneschans at the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, Potchefstroom, South Africa.
- Charles Rezac at The University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA.
- Steve Saklad at The College of Pharmacy, University of Texas, San Antonio, TX, USA.
- Iosif Vaisman at The School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
You can follow the development of the site on the Wayback Machine.
I hope you enjoyed using PharmWeb, au revoir!
Some early publications.
The Internet: (1) A guide to the information superhighway.
Pharm. J. 254, 29-31, 1995.
The Internet: (2) Connecting and searching for information.
Pharm. J. 254, 58-59, 1995.
The Internet: A global communication tool.
Int. Pharm. J. 9, 68-72, 1995.
Internet no panacea – but it’s getting there.
Information World Review, 108, 22-23, 1995.
The Internet – hype or panacea.
Community Pharmacy, March 1996, 16-17, 1996.
The Communications Revolution.
Int. Pharm. J. 10, 129-134, 1996.
The Internet – dream or virtual reality?
Community Pharmacy, March 1997, 33-36, 1997.
PharmWeb – pharmaceutical information on the Internet.
Health Information Management: What Strategies.
S. Bakker (ed), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 219-223, 1997.
The Internet and PharmWeb.
Emerging Themes and Technologies in Pharmacy Education
P. Bourlioux, A. A. Hincal, S. Senel, A. T. Florence (Eds), Safak Press, Turkey, 97-100, 1997.
Pharm. J. 260, 26-28, 1998.
The Internet: A tool for delivering and exchanging information.
Int. Pharm. J. 10, 129-134, 1998
PharmWeb – pharmaceutical information on the Internet.
Pharmaceutical Science and Technology Today, 1, 2-4, 1998
An Internet primer: What does the pharmacist need to know?
Int. Pharm. J. 14, 7-10, 2000.
PharmWeb – Copyright . All rights reserved.
The final home page.
Full programs of major pharmacy, pharmaceutical and health-related conferences around the world plus the PharmWeb Conference Calendar.
PharmWeb Discussion Forum
The PharmWeb Discussion Forum is a collection of discussion groups and mailing lists specialising in specific aspects of medicine, pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences and health-related issues. The discussion groups and mailing lists are designed to focus on specific areas and are moderated to ensure that discussions are within the scope of a particular discussion group.
World Wide Pharmacy Colleges/Departments/Schools
This is a comprehensive database of world wide pharmacy schools. The schools list is in the form of a searchable database and is regularly updated. The database includes contact names, addresses, telephone and FAX numbers, and Internet addresses where available.
Government and Regulatory Bodies
Links to government and regulatory bodies around the world.
Find helpful advice on a range of conditions and diseases online.
PharmWeb Yellow Web Pages
Your directory to pharmaceutical information on the Internet. Includes companies, pharmacies, hospitals, plus much more. Each site is evaluated by our team of researchers before addition to the directory.
A directory of pharmaceutical and health-related societies around the world. Also included is a list of International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) member organisations (including addresses, telephone and FAX numbers).
Job vacancies in science and the health professions, updated regularly. If you want to be the first to know about a new vacancy why not join the PharmWeb Appointments Alert?
PharmWeb Virtual Library
A repository of pharmaceutical information for educational and research purposes.
Links to various science and health-related newsgroups.
Links to pharmaceutical and health-related courses and teaching information.
Special Interest Pages
A resource of links to sites specialising in science, drugs and health-related subjects. A starting point for information other than pharmacy.
An A to Z index of information held on PharmWeb.
History of PharmWeb
PharmWeb was the first hierarchical information resource on the Internet for pharmaceutical and health-related information. How did it all start?
Pharmacy and the Internet
This page contains information on pharmaceutical publications related to the Internet and considers the applications of the Internet to pharmacy and new online pharmacy services.
PharmWeb Internet Directory
Links to some of the best sites on the Internet including search engines, news, weather, entertainment, and many other interesting sites.
What’s New on PharmWeb?
Find out about the latest developments on PharmWeb.
How many people use PharmWeb? Detailed access statistics for the main PharmWeb servers.
How to Add/Edit Links
Do you want to add or edit any link on PharmWeb, this tells you how to do it.
PharmWeb and its Services
What can PharmWeb do for you? A summary of the services that PharmWeb provides.
Some of the common problems encountered using web browsers.
Comments and Suggestions
Let us know what you think of PharmWeb. Many developments have been the result of user feedback.
Organisations on PharmWeb
PharmWeb is here as a result of the support of major pharmaceutical and health-related organisations.
This page contains information on your PharmWeb contact.