October is American Pharmacists Month. The celebration that now lasts for a full month originated in 1924 when Robert J Ruth, a North Carolina pharmacist, broached the idea of promoting the profession during a meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association, now known as the American Pharmacist Association. He suggested a “National Pharmaceutical Week,” and the idea was well received. The first celebration of National Pharmaceutical Week was October 11th – 17th of 1925. Radio stations around the nation aired programs that promoted the pharmaceutical profession.
By the 1950s, the association had created press kits that pharmacists could purchase to promote the weekly celebration. These kits included posters and displays as well as promotional materials for local newspapers and radio stations. As the decades flew by, the role of the pharmacist became more important in the everyday healthcare of the population. Pharmacists have to contend with an ever expanding catalog of medications, and many pharmacies are now acting as healthcare clinics.
Due to this increased role of the pharmacist, it was decided in 2004 to expand the holiday to encompass a full month. Every October is now celebrated as American Pharmacists Month, and each year, a new celebratory theme is chosen. The theme for 2010 is “Know Your Medicine, Know Your Pharmacist.” The American Pharmacist Association emphasizes the importance of using this month to help motivate staff to perform to the highest standards, educate patients about the services provided by pharmacists as well as the importance of the pharmacist as part of the health management team, and to inspire the entire community to learn more about their medications to ensure all of their medications can work safely and effectively together.
Resources for American Pharmacist Month
- American Pharmacist Month on Facebook – This page has a growing fan base and the event has almost three thousand participants. People are gathering here to share stories, provide support, and show their pharmacist pride.
- American Pharmacists Association – This site has a wealth of information about the profession and the celebration. They also have tools and supplies to help you celebrate in style.
- Walgreens– This article discusses how Walgreens is increasing awareness of the importance of the profession and how they help future pharmacists.
- Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin – This site discusses a variety of ways pharmacists can celebrate the month. Many of these ideas include ways to interact with the pharmacist’s patient base and the community as a whole.
- Here’s to Your Health – The radio broadcast details a number of ways pharmacists help patients. There are five shows, all of which can be downloaded from the website.
If you are a pharmacist, or a pharmacist student, now is the time to spread the word about your chosen profession. Use this month as a time to reach out to your community and let them know just how valuable you and your services are. How do you plan to promote American Pharmacist Month?