The earliest versions of drugs were created by extracting substances from herbs and other plants. As knowledge and technology in chemistry continued to develop, scientists learned to isolate and extract even more individual compounds from raw materials. The complex processes that produce these simple, pure substances make up the field of fine chemistry.
Synthesising fine chemicals usually involve several steps in small batches. The goal is to produce the pure product that a customer needs. Taking the utmost care helps to ensure that the goal is obtained. Because of the very involved processes, the specialised equipment, and the necessary expert skills, fine chemical products can be very expensive.