The hitherto editions of Czechoslovak Pharmacopoeias defined the principal pharmaceutical cate- gories. The new Czech Pharmacopoeia 1997, however, does not define them; the definitions are included in Law No. 79/1997 of the Collection, of drugs and changes and supplements of some related laws, valid since 1 April 1988. The principal difference in comparison with the hitherto Czech tradition lies in the new term for the final product, called the medicament (lék) until now. The new law calls this category the medicinal preparation (léčivý přípravek). The term drug (léčivo) has gained the status of an umbrella term. The present paper lists the hitherto terms for principal pharmaceutical categories in Czechoslovak Pharmacopoeias, evaluates the content of the individual categories and the terms used in the pregradual education of pharmacists. At the same time, attention is drawn to the necessity of changing the terms derived from the terms medicament (lék), such as pharmacy (lékárna), pharmacist (lékárník), or pharmacopoeia (lékopis). The present paper does not aim to analyse the content and form of the individual pharmaceutical categories and propose the pertinent changes but it attempts to compare the names of and the evaluating parameters for the active principle, intermediate product and final product according to Czechoslovak Pharmaco- poeias and the new law concerning the drug.
principal pharmaceutical categories – active principle – medicinal preparation – drug – medicament