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PPA History

A Brief Synopsis

In early 1878, eight Pennsylvania pharmacists who were members of the American Pharmaceutical Association met in Harrisburg to discuss the issues of the day and decided there was a need for a statewide organization. An invitation to attend an organizational meeting was sent to the leading druggists in the state. Twenty-two pharmacists responded and the Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Association was created.


The Association acquired its present day headquarters, at 508 North Third Street, prominently located across the street from Pennsylvania’s Capitol Building, in 1948. The location which is conveniently located across from the state Capitol has undergone several renovations and is considered a valuable asset given its prime location in the capital city. In 1988 the Association undertook a major renovation project for the building, which was finished and the building rededicated in 1989. In 1994, PPA members approved changing the associations name for the purpose of conducting business from the Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Association to the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association.*

Through the years legislation and advocacy, on behalf of the business of pharmacy, the professional practice, and patient care, has been a focal point of the association. Issues have come and gone and even reinvented themselves, and the Association remained a constant and vocal advocate, particularly in its involvement of the state board of pharmacy act. Education and professional development have also continued to be a main focus of the association.


PPA and its members have been keenly involved with many issues and have strived to protect the interests of the public they serve, the continued success of their pharmacies, and the best interests of the pharmacy profession.  During 2003, PPA proudly celebrated its 125th anniversary with a special recognition dinner held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting and Educational Conference.

Many county pharmaceutical associations actually were founded prior to PPA. In 1930, the Dauphin County Pharmaceutical Association became the first to officially affiliate with PPA. Over the years, the concept of affiliation has changed and been long debated.  Today, only a few country associations remain very active and for many years none have had an official affiliation with PPA.  Each group operated independently of the state association.  At one time, the only connection between the counties was sending delegates to the House of Delegates meetings. The House of Delegates governance structure was begun in 1973 and was disbanded through a membership vote in 2006 and a new governance structure continues to evolve. 

In 2009, PPA approved an affiliation through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Allegheny County Pharmacists Association, as well as the BucksMont (Bucks and Montgomery Counties) County Pharmacists Association in 2011.  In 2016, the Lehigh Valley Pharmacists Association (LVPA) also became affiliated with PPA.  There is an ongoing effort to bring more local groups into a similar relationship.

Over the years, membership has changed drastically with the times. Once almost exclusively for independent owners, today’s membership while still heavily made-up of pharmacy owners is also a diverse mixture from all practice settings, many ethnic backgrounds, and has at least as many females as males. Additionally, there are special categories for students, technicians, part-time employees and retired members. PPA continues to be a vibrant part of the pharmacy community in Pennsylvania! 


Click here to view a list of PPA's Past Presidents!

 *  The official corporate name remains Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Association, but uses the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association as a d/b/a.

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