Pharma means drug and analysis means determination or estimation. So pharmaceutical analysis means determination or estimation of drug in a simple way. But in the language of science, pharmaceutical analysis is defined as it is the branch of science which deals with the study of separation, identification and quantification of drugs (analyte). The person who is involved in analysis, is known as analyst.

Example – i. A mixture when analyzed gives compounds and when a compound is analyzed gives elements. Element is the basic unit of any substance.

  1. separation of protein into its individual components (amino acids), its identification and then quantification.


Qualitative Analysis – The word qualitative is made from quality. In qualitative analysis tests are performed on the sample to know its composition i.e. constituents present in the sample. Simply we can say qualitative analysis is the identification of the analyte.

Example – Suppose a sample (Z) is to be analyzed.

When Z is analyzed, the analyst found 5 constituents A, B, C, D & E in that sample. So determination of constituents only not its amount is called qualitative analysis.

Quantitative analysis – the word quantitative is made from quantity. In quantitative analysis tests are performed on the sample to know its composition along with its quantity/amount  i.e. in how much quantity, constituents are present in the sample. Simply we can say the quantitative analysis is determination of amount or concentration of analyte.

Methods of Analysis

  1. Chemical method – It is also called wet analysis, which is based on titrations i.e. reactions between titrant and titrand. Lot of titrations are their which have their own working principles e.g. acid ase titration, redox titration, precipitation titration, complexometric titration etc.
  2. Instrumental method – it includes spectroscopic and chromatographic methodsI. i. Spectroscopic method – in this method specific instruments are employed which works on the principle of absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiations g. Ultraviolet-Visible spectroscopy (UV/Vis), Infrared spectroscopy (IR), Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). ii. Chromatographic method – Here we use affinity or partition coefficient differences between drugs e.g. Thin layer chromatography (TLC), High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), Gas chromatography (GC).

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