American Pharmacists Month – October 2021

American Pharmacists Month is observed during the month of October. It is a celebration of the invaluable work done by pharmacists and the vital role that they play in society. Healthcare providers deserve all the recognition that they can get, especially considering their contribution during the COVID-19 pandemic, and pharmacists are no exception.

History of American Pharmacists Month

Pharmacists — also known as chemists, apothecaries, or druggists — have been around for centuries. The earliest trace of a pharmacy in America dates back to the colonial period when explorations were made to find medical plants among American flora. Soon after this, drugstores opened up in parts of North America.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that the pharmacy as we know it today came into being. The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (P.C.P.) was formed and is said to have set the foundation for a pharmaceutical system in the U.S. Elias Durand played an important role in discovering new medicinal plants, creating new medical chemicals, and so forth. Durand was also a role model for William Procter, Jr., the father of the American pharmacy.

Procter studied and taught at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. He not only wrote the first pharmacy textbook but also paved the way for many others to follow. He led the “American Journal of Pharmacy” for 22 years and served first as the corresponding secretary and later as the president of the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA).

APhA — now the American Pharmacists Association — was formed in 1852 as a professional organization for American pharmacists. With over 62,000 current members, APhA is still an active organization raising awareness about and advocating for pharmacists all over the nation. In fact, it was APhA that launched American Pharmacists Month (APhM) back in 2004! It has been celebrated every October since then.

American Pharmacists Month timeline

Pharmacies Open

The first apothecary shops/drugstores open in America.

Pharmacy School

The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy opens.

Pharmacists Unite

The American Pharmaceutical (now Pharmacists) Association is founded.

American Pharmacists Celebrated

October is declared American Pharmacists Month.

American Pharmacists Month FAQs

When is American Pharmacists Month?

It is observed throughout the month of October. 

What does APhA stand for?

The full form of APhA used to be American Pharmaceuticals Association, but now it stands for American Pharmacists Association. 

What is the symbol for a pharmacist?

The Bowl of Hygieia is one of the symbols of pharmacy.

How to Observe American Pharmacists Month

  1. Thank your pharmacists

    If you happen to see your local pharmacist, let them know that they are truly celebrated and appreciated for all that they do for the community.

  2. Support your pharmacists

    Even if you don’t require their services often, donate to or volunteer at any fundraisers or organizations that benefit American pharmacists.

  3. Endorse your pharmacists

    Leave your local pharmacist a positive review on their website or other search engines, in their personal feedback box, or even through word of mouth!

5 Facts About Pharmacy That We Bet You Didn’t Know

  1. Not all drugs

    Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, and Pepsi were all invented by pharmacists.

  2. Billion-dollar industry

    The global pharmaceuticals market is approximately worth $500 billion.

  3. Pharmacists are superheroes

    Chris Hemsworth was a pharmacist before he went on to become Thor.

  4. It moves slow

    And we mean SLOW — each new drug takes about 20 years to fully develop.

  5. It’s electricity’s half-sibling

    Benjamin Franklin is considered one of the founding fathers of pharmacy.

Why American Pharmacists Month is Important

  1. It’s a reminder to be grateful

    Healthcare workers have proved over the course of the pandemic that they are the superheroes of our society. While frontline workers deserve praise and celebration, we must not forget to include pharmacists.

  2. It spreads awareness

    Pharmacists do more than just sell medicines, they offer services like monitoring medication, checking for allergies, and so forth and this month spreads awareness about their wide scope of services.

  3. It encourages affirmations

    While you don’t need a special day to appreciate someone, it is nice to have a month dedicated to the celebration of pharmacists, who we may not get to see regularly and thank otherwise.

American Pharmacists Month dates

2021October 1Friday
2022October 1Saturday
2023October 1Sunday
2024October 1Tuesday
2025October 1Wednesday
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