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The first apothecary established in what is now South Africa was Joachim Blanck. A member of the Guild of Apothecaries in Amsterdam, Blanck settled in the Cape in 1653. It was not until the early 19th century that the function of the pharmacists in South Africa was first defined. This enabled pharmacists (Chemists and Druggists) to organise themselves into a professional group distinct from other medical professions.
On 13 June 1885 a group of 7 pharmacists met in King Williamstown to form the first voluntary pharmaceutical society - the South African Pharmaceutical Association (SAPA). From here pharmaceutical societies were developed in the various provinces. Each provincial professional society was an autonomous individual society.
The amalgamation of these formed the Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa (PSSA), the first unified professional society for pharmacy in South Africa. The Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa was inaugurated on 01 January 1946 and “became of powerful instrument for the advancement of pharmacy” in South Africa.
In 2009, a Vision and Mission for pharmacy were adopted by the Pharmaceutical Society and these are reflected in the following passage.
To be the undisputed leader and guardian of the pharmacy profession.
To support and promote the profession of pharmacy in improving medication use and advancing patient care.