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Moyse Charas (1619, Uzès, Gard - 1698) was an apothocary in France during the reign of Louis XIV who became famous for publishing compendiums of medication formulas, many of which had been kept secret for centuries so that the makers could maintain a monopoly over ancient formulas.[1]

Pharmacopée Royale Galénique et Chymique, first published in 1676, was the best-known of Charas' works and was the first medical book from Europe translated into Chinese. A medication included in his formulary was theriac which was first made popular by the Greeks as an antidote to animal bites and disseminated over the Silk Route. The formula for theriac included as many as 600 separate ingredients and was kept secret for over seventeen centuries. Another medication included in Charas' publication was orvietan. Charas is considered an important figure in the history of the dissemination of medical knowledge.[1]

Charas was inducted as member of the Academie Des Sciences (the French Academy of Sciences) in 1692 at the age of 73. As well as the publishing of his works, he had enjoyed a distinguished career as a lecturer in Chemistry. He was an expert in areas such poisons, antidotes, opium, and viperidae.[2] There is evidence that his nomination and acceptance into the Academie Des Sciences was based on the importance of his publications on pharmacology rather than on his credentials as a scientific researcher, contrary to the usual practice of the day.[3]

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