National Pharmacy Week is observed during the third full week of October and recognizes the invaluable contributions pharmacists and technicians make to patient care. This year, it takes place from October 17 to 23. Pharmacists provide an essential service by connecting the needs of patients to the pharmaceutical industry. Without pharmacists and pharmacies, medical attention and support would be non-existent, and many people would succumb to their illnesses.
History of Pharmacy Week
Pharmaceutical practices encompass both traditional roles like medication compounding and dispensing, and more modern healthcare services like clinical services, medication safety, efficacy reviews, and drug information. As a result, pharmacists are drug therapy experts and the primary health professionals who optimize medication use for the benefit of patients. Did you know that one in every two Americans takes at least one prescription medication in their lifetime? Because so many Americans use prescription drugs, pharmacists are more important than ever in our healthcare system.
Pharmacists not only provide medicine to patients, but they also provide essential information. They must be thoroughly knowledgeable about the prescriptions they fill. This includes understanding how different medications interact with one another. In addition to dispensing medication, they work as researchers, educators, advocates, and counselors. Some pharmacists also give immunizations. They even help patients with weight loss and quitting smoking. Pharmacists frequently collaborate with insurance companies to ensure that their patients’ prescribed medications are covered by their health insurance plans.
These contributions, and more, are recognized during National Pharmacy Week, which was proposed by Robert J. Ruth of Ashville, North Carolina in 1924 at the American Pharmacist Association’s annual meeting. The first event was held from October 11 to October 17, 1925. The week’s name was later changed to National Pharmacy Week.
Pharmacy Week timeline
Early medical prescriptions are discovered at the Mawangdui archaeological site in Changsha, China.
The king of Sicily, Emperor Frederick II, issues a decree separating physicians and the apothecary's professions.
Pharmacy Week is celebrated for the first time after Robert J. Ruth, a pharmacist from Asheville, North Carolina, proposes the National Pharmaceutical Week at the American Pharmacist Association's annual meeting.
The American Pharmacist Association declares the entire month of October American Pharmacists Month.
Pharmacy Week FAQs
How many years would it take to be a pharmacist?
Three to four years of undergraduate pre-professional (prerequisite) coursework, followed by four academic years in the professional program. Most students need four years to complete their prerequisite courses. As a result, obtaining a Pharm. D. typically requires eight years of college education.
How much does a pharmacist make?
In 2020, the median salary for a pharmacist was $128,710. The highest-paid quarter earned $147,690 that year, while the lowest-paid quarter earned $112,690.
Do pharmacists go to med school?
Some pharmacists apply to medical school later in their careers but often face challenges during the transition.
How to Observe Pharmacy Week
Honor your go-to pharmacy online
Everyone has a go-to pharmacy for their monthly prescription or medications for a specific illness they are dealing with. This is your chance to honor your favorite pharmacy online by leaving a positive review or writing a blog post about your experiences there. You can also join in on any hashtag trends that emerge.
Take your local pharmacists some gifts
Your friendly neighborhood pharmacists care for the entire community, including you and your family. So, show your gratitude by dropping by the pharmacy with some gifts. You can send them flowers and chocolates or bring them some healthy snacks for their long workdays.
Read a book about pharmaceuticals
The history of pharmacies and pharmaceuticals is fascinating, dating back to near prehistoric times. Many books exist that detail this history and are filled with interesting stories and examples of early prescriptions. It's an educational and entertaining learning experience.
5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Pharmacies
There are some famous pharmacists
Agatha Christie was a pharmacy technician while Benjamin Franklin was a pharmacist.
Coca-Cola was invented by a pharmacist
The inventor of Coca-Cola, John Pemberton, was a pharmacist and carried around his new product in a jug from pharmacy to pharmacy.
Medication can cost you millions
Glybera, a gene therapy that aids in restoring lipoprotein lipase enzyme activity, is the most expensive drug ever, with a wholesale cost of $1.21 million per year.
The U.S.’s first licensed pharmacist
In the early 1800s, Louis Dufilho Jr. of New Orleans became America's first licensed pharmacist.
Lipitor is iconic and expensive
Lipitor is the best-selling pharmaceutical of all time, generating approximately $125 billion.
Why Pharmacy Week is Important
It honors a long-standing profession
A lot can be said about a lifetime of pharmacy visits, but we would be lost without these professionals who make it their mission to help us become healthier and happier. Pharmacists have been around for centuries and continue to help us manage life’s many difficulties. It’s time we honor those men and women.
Students are encouraged to pursue careers in pharmaceuticals
Many young people aspire to be doctors or other types of medical professionals, often overlooking the possibility of becoming a pharmacist. Every year, National Pharmacy Week highlights this honorable profession, and young students are inspired to pursue a career in that field.
It’s part of our survival
Simply put, without pharmacies and pharmacists, we would not have very long life expectancies. Furthermore, we would have to find alternative ways to get our medicines and, most likely, pay more to get them. Pharmacists are a necessity, and nothing can replace them.
Pharmacy Week dates