About us

History of PSSA

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.

Vision and Mission

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.


    The objectives of the Society are:
  • To promote the professional, educational and economic interests of the members of the Society and of the pharmaceutical profession;
  • To encourage professional integrity and improve standards of professional conduct of the members of the Society;
  • To promote and maintain the image of the pharmacy;
  • To uphold and assist in the promotion and maintenance of the health of the people of South Africa through the provision of a safe dependable pharmaceutical service and
  • In recognising the diversity of the population of South Africa, to promote the representation of all sectors of the South African community in its membership.

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