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A special month for pharmacists

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The Americans do many things better than the British. Celebrating October as pharmacists’ own awareness month is one example.

“American Pharmacists’ Month provides a golden opportunity to celebrate the pharmacy profession, recognise your pharmacy staff, and to reach out to your patients,” says the American Pharmacists’ Association. This year’s theme is “Know your medicine, know your pharmacist”, sponsored by McNeil. UK pharmacy bodies take note.

William Procter Jr, a founder member of the then American Pharmaceutical Association, observed in 1867 that: “Public opinion is in America a forceful agent of reforms, and has been the main source of progress in pharmacy.” But it was not until the association’s annual meeting in 1924 that pharmacist Robert J. Ruth unveiled his plan for a national pharmaceutical week.

National Pharmacy Week was celebrated for nearly eight decades, but in 2004 American Pharmacists’ Month was born after APhA members said that seven days was not long enough to promote their expanding role. Since then, American Pharmacists’ Month has continued to grow. In 2005, President George W. Bush acknowledged the important role pharmacy professionals play in the lives of Americans.

The concept is great but the details would need fine tuning for the British market. One of the APhA’s activity suggestions is a “special” message every time you answer the telephone. Try this: “Hello, this is Main Street Pharmacy, where we’re celebrating American Pharmacists’ Month. How may I assist you today?”

Admittedly, our colleagues stateside chose a month when the competition is weak. Competing for the US people’s support this October will be National Kitchen and Bath Month, National Popcorn Popping Month and National Sarcastics Month.

Come on, somebody: pick us a month for British pharmacy!

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From: Beyond pharmacy blog

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