Issue Date: November 10, 1972
City: Cincinnati, OH
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed, engraved
Color: Black and multicolored
Commemorates the 120th anniversary of the American Pharmaceutical Association and pays tribute to more than 100,000 druggists. U.S. #1473 pictures a mortar and pestle, Bowl of Hygieia, and 19th century medicine bottles.
Hygieia was the Greek goddess of health. Hygieia holding a patera (medicine bowl) with a snake coiling around her and about to eat from the bowl has come to symbolize pharmacy. The snake represents the patient and its choice of whether or not to take the medicine to help itself. The American Pharmacists Association has adopted the Bowl of Hygieia as its symbol.
American Pharmacists Association
In the mid-1850s, there were no laws regulating the pharmacy practice. Patients were often given treatment based on their symptoms, instead of diagnosing a specific disease. And anyone with enough money could open their own apothecary.
So in the fall of 1852, a group of 20 men met in Philadelphia to discuss these issues as well as one of their greatest concerns, drug quality. Among those present was William Procter, Jr., who later came to be known as the Father of American Pharmacy. Of the meeting, he said, “Fewness of members should not deter pharmacists from associating. A dozen well-disposed men can accomplish wonders when enlisted in a common cause and animated by a single interest.”
During that initial meeting, the attendees discussed the accomplishments of the pharmacy profession over the past 150 years and looked at the history of pharmacy governance. They also discussed the creation of a headquarters, the future of pharmacotherapy, and the history of pharmacoeconomics. They officially established the American Pharmaceutical Association during that meeting.
The APhA, the first professional society of pharmacy in the US, would evolve in the coming years. It helped regulate the practice of dispensing medicine and encouraged pharmacists to develop close relationships with the doctors who prescribed the medicine. By the early 20th century, a series of laws were passed that helped to regulate the pharmaceutical field. In 1906, there was the Pure Food and Drug Act, protecting people from misbranded medications. And in 1938, there was the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which called on the FDA to require that new drugs be deemed safe before being marketed.
Today, the American Pharmacists Association, as it was renamed, has its headquarters on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and includes a membership of more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists and other pharmaceutical professionals. The APhA meets every year to discuss policies for their profession. And most other pharmacy organizations were created out of the APhA.