National Pharmacist Day
Pharmacists are trusted members of our healthcare system. They not only check and dispense medications that their customers need, but they also offer advice on medicine dosage, side effects, and possible interactions between different prescriptions. They’re so vital to a properly functioning healthcare system, they even been given their own holiday. A holiday that falls on January 12th every year and is aptly known as National Pharmacist Day.
The History Of Pharmacies
Searching for the history of National Pharmacists Day was a fruitless endeavor, so we decided to investigate the history of pharmacies instead. And we discovered that pharmacies go back a long, long time. They go all the way back to Ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt.
In Egypt, physicians were also priests and they were divided into two classes: those who remained in the temple and prepared the medicines and tinctures patients needed, while others visited the sick to administer those medicines in person. This made them both physicians and pharmacists at the same time.
In ancient Greece and Rome, the duties of pharmacists and physicians were separated from one another sometime during the 8th century A.D. This trend continued through Europe during the Middle Ages until the city council of Bruges passed a law that forbade doctors from filling medications for their patients in 1683.
In the United States during the 17th century, Benjamin Franklin appointed an apothecary to Pennsylvania Hospital, and this helped to reinforce the practice of keeping the duties of doctors and pharmacists separate from one another. Doctors would tend to the patients medically, and pharmacists would make sure that they prepared the medicines that these doctors needed for their patients.
Of course, as pharmacies evolved and grew over the next few hundred years, their role changed slightly. Although they were tasked at the beginning with mixing medicines to make plasters, potions, and pills, this role changed after WWII. This is when the pharmaceutical industry developed and took over the role of making medicines. Pharmacists would then be related to filling those prescriptions and making sure that drugs didn’t interact with each other. It’s a role they continue to this day.
Celebrating National Pharmacists Day
National Pharmacists Day is a holiday in which people can take a few moments out of their day to thank their pharmacists. All year long, pharmacists keep us healthy by filling our medications, and by making sure our medicines don’t interact. They’re also always available to dole out important information on our medicines whenever we need it. As such, they’re worthy of our thanks. And while we’re thanking our pharmacists in person, we can also thank them virtually by using the hashtag #NationalPharmacistDay on our social media accounts. Thanks to this holiday, we can all thank our pharmacists for the work they do for us every day.