National Pharmacy Buyer Day is held on the Friday in the last full week of October — on October 29 this year — to honor the people who manage the changing inventory of pharmacies across the U.S. Since we (like everyone else) prefer our pharmacy shelves stocked with the right drugs at all times, we love the idea of celebrating National Pharmacy Buyer Day!
History of National Pharmacy Buyer Day
Pharmacy has been around as long as medicine has. Ancient Mesopotamia recorded the earliest example of pharmaceutical science in 2100 B.C. An ancient Indian Ayurvedic text from 6th century B.C. is perhaps the first (recorded) compilation of medical substances to treat ailments. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese, all had early versions of pharmacies, as records indicate. In the Ancient Middle East, studies of botany and chemistry grew in leaps and bounds. This helped medieval Islamic medicine develop into pharmacology, through discoveries and research by various physicians, alchemists, and others.
Little pharmacy-like shops also began to appear across England by the 12th century, and some of these are still operating today. This was also the period when pharmacy and medicine cleaved into two distinct practices, largely due to an edict by the Emperor of Germany and King of Sicily, Frederick II. The pharmacy practice evolved, and by the Industrial Revolution, had become a mass-produced industry including inventions like pre-packaged medication. The technology created in the 16th century paved the way for the pharmaceutical industry’s biggest era yet — the 20th century.
As for the pharmacy buyers, they are a specialized subset of medical professionals who perform a complex dual-toned role for the medical community; they stock the shelves with current drugs, manage costs for hospital pharmacies and large clinics, and check the expiration dates. Their role requires them to have extensive medical knowledge, as well as accounts management.
Perhaps this is why former pharmacy buyer Beth Meese came up with the idea to celebrate them; she would know how much her fellow pharmacy buyers deserve recognition and respect. Beth worked at Provena United Samaritan Medical Center in Danville, Illinois, as a Pharmacy Purchasing Agent. Today, she works for the same hospital as the Service Excellence Liaison. She got the idea to assign a special day to celebrate all pharmacy buyers in 2005. Two years later, the National Pharmacy Purchasing Association (NPPA) turned her suggestion into a movement. 45 days before that, they sent letters, and a “Proclamation”, to the mayor of Chicago, for legislative support to recognize the day locally. If the mayor agrees, the Proclamation would return to the NPPA with the mayor’s signature and the official government stamp of approval, and the U.S. would get an annual National Pharmacy Buyer Day.
National Pharmacy Buyer Day timeline
Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen issues a law that splits the physician and the apothecary professions, putting separate professional regulations in place.
A pharmacy opens inside the Franciscan monastery in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and has the distinction of being the oldest operating pharmacy in Europe by the 21st century.
The Pennsylvania Hospital is co-founded by the Founding Father of the U.S. (and pharmacist) Benjamin Franklin, in Philadelphia, to take care of the poor and homeless suffering from physical and mental illnesses.
The first American licensed pharmacist Louis Dufiho sets up shop in the French Quarter and sells traditional and voodoo medicine.
The National Pharmacy Purchasing Association (NPPA) takes on former Pharmacy Purchasing Agent Beth Meese's idea of a Pharmacy Buyer Day and makes it a movement, initiating a petition to celebrate this day annually.
National Pharmacy Buyer Day FAQs
Is a pharmacist a medical professional?
Yes. They are healthcare professionals trained to conduct health and wellness tests, manage chronic diseases, perform medication management, and administer immunizations.
How do I become a pharmaceutical buyer?
Earn a pharmacy technician certificate or an associate degree in pharmacology from any of the wide options of vocational schools and community colleges that offer them. These programs include internships in pharmacies for on-the-job training and experience.
What are medication errors in pharmacy?
Any preventable event that may lead to inappropriate use of a medication, causing harm to the patient, while the medication is under the care of the medical professional. For example, prescribing errors.
How To Celebrate National Pharmacy Buyer Day
Petition to recognize this day officially
Make National Pharmacy Buyer Day official. Grab a copy of the NPPA's Pharmacy Buyer Day Proclamation form, and send it to your city’s Mayor or state’s Governor, requesting them to officially recognize this day. Follow up on your petition as frequently as you can.
Check in with local pharmacies and visit official websites to find out about any workshops that have been organized in honor of this day. If you can, organize your own workshops and events too.
Attend a career fair
For those interested in a career as a pharmacy buyer, walk into a career fair. There, you can learn more about the training you would need, the career path, and the job prospects in your city. You may also find a career mentor or advisor to guide you through the process based on their experience.
5 Important Facts About Pharmacy
Agatha Christie is linked to pharmacy
English writer Agatha Christie was a pharmacy physician; she used her pharmacy experience — and what she learned as a volunteer nurse during the World Wars — to write her famous mysteries.
A Pharmacist invented Coca-Cola
Pharmacist John S. Pemberton created Coca-Cola to be a treatment for most ailments, but it was sold as a soda fountain drink for five cents per glass.
Pharmacists invented other iconic things
Dr. Pepper was an invention by a young pharmacist named Charles Alderton who wanted to make a syrup that smelled like a drugstore, and the soft drink Pepsi was created by a pharmacist who wanted to duplicate the success of the Coca-Cola invention.
The most expensive drug
Myalept, the only drug available to treat the rare disease ‘generalized lipodystrophy,’ costs $71,306 for a full treatment course, and just one vial costs $5,000.
The first pharmacist licenses in America
It wasn’t necessary for anyone to have a license to become a pharmacist until Louisiana became the first American state to require it.
Why National Pharmacy Buyer Day is Important
We learn about the profession
We get to know more about pharmacy buyers and their immense responsibilities. It makes us feel doubly grateful when we get the right medication on time.
We give pharmacy buyers much-needed recognition
Pharmacy buyers are the hidden heroes of the medical profession. Having a day to celebrate them ensures that they are not overlooked.
They are incredibly important to our health
Pharmacies are the first healthcare providers for so many of us. The buyers stock, we use, and if they falter, we are the most badly affected.
National Pharmacy Buyer Day dates