“On the evening of Monday, May 8, 1882 a group of pharmacists from across the state of Indiana met in the Bates House parlors in Indianapolis. These men, earnest in their conviction, had come to Indianapolis with the purpose of meeting the following day to establish a State Association of Pharmacy. The group of pharmacists who met at the Bates House parlors had come at the request of the druggists to participate in what would be the founding meeting of the Indiana Pharmaceutical Association.
The convention on May 9, 1882 was where Hoosier pharmacists finally united under a single banner."
The First Meeting of the Indiana Pharmaceutical Association
The rain and clouds on the morning of May 9, 1882 failed to deter the 120 pharmacists who were ushered into Indianapolis Masonic Temple for the meeting. At 10:30 AM, Joseph Perry called those in attendance to order and stated the task before them. “We are here this morning for the purpose of organizing a State Pharmaceutical Association, that we, as druggists, may better our condition.”
Perry presided over the balloting, and the nominees were elected:
- President – Geo. H. Andrews, Muncie
- First Vice President – Flor. C. Schmidt, Evansville
- Second Vice President – Charles V. Pyle, Warsaw
- Third Vice President – A.G. Luken, Richmond
- Permanent Secretary – Joseph R Perry, Indianapolis
- Local Secretary – John a. Lambert, Indianapolis
- Treasurer – Emil Martin
- Executive Committee – Jacob Baur, Terre Haute; John Hurty, Indianapolis; David Hilt, Lafayette
The nascent association addressed many issues during the two-day proceedings, among the first were the need to procure effective legislation for the profession, the scope of the organization, and professional standards and ethics.
The pharmacists that attended the meeting established a firm foundation to build the profession of pharmacy in Indiana and set important precedents for future pharmacists to follow.
The Seventeen Year War: Enacting Legislation in Indiana
From the Inception of the IPhA in 1882 it was the intention of Hoosier pharmacists to pass legislation to protect and elevate the profession. What initially began as a forthright process became an arduous seventeen year war of attrition, the most striking feature about passage of Indiana’s first pharmacy law was the sheer length of time it required. When it finally was passed, all four neighboring states had pharmacy laws prior to Indiana.
The efforts of Legislative Committee chairman R. I. Eads and others came to fruition shortly after the annual meeting of 1899. House Bill No.47 was passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor, and thus became Indiana’s first Pharmacy Practice Act. Hoosier pharmacists had finally gained the protection they had sought since the founding of the organization. As it turned out, Indiana became the last State in the Union to pass a pharmacy law.
With the enactment of the Practice Act, Indiana established a State Board of Pharmacy and with that, the IPhA started its close working relationship with the Board.
The Progressive Era
In addition to tending to the public health of Indiana, the IPhA made great gains in securing both professional prominence and economic security. The relentless efforts of the Legislative committee procured the first Pharmacy Practice Act to safeguard the profession from unqualified pharmacists. By implementing supplemental testing, the Committee on Education helped to elevate the Purdue School of Pharmacy (The IPhA’s own John Hurty is often given credit with founding the school) to one of the premier schools in the nations. The active involvement of the IPhA with the National Association of Retail Druggists met the problem of “cut-rating” head-on to bolster the economic security of Indiana pharmacists.
The Modern Era
The rise of pharmacy industry during the 1950’s and 1960’s engendered new struggles for the IPhA. Issues with health insurance and generic drugs persisted in subsequent years. The renewed sense of professionalism that Hoosier pharmacists incurred following WWII continued to gain momentum through the 1960’s and provided impetus for pharmacy to remain diligent in the years to come to ensure the well-being of Hoosier pharmacists in a changing health system. Pharmacists continued to see the value of a professional organization like the IPhA to promote their interests.
Strength through Unification
In the 1997, July/August issue of The Indiana Pharmacist, Lary Sage informed association members that the IPA and ISHP would merge to form the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance (IPA). An overwhelming 95% of the votes cast from the two organizations supported the merger. Bruce Clayton, president of the Indiana Pharmacists Association during the merger stated that the collaborative efforts of both organizations created a better opportunity “to advance the practice of ALL pharmacists in Indiana”.
Currently there are approximately 1,000 active members in the IPA belonging to one of four academies each incorporating a specific area of pharmacy: Indiana Academy of Community Pharmacists (IACP), Indiana Society of Health System Pharmacists (ISHP), Indiana Academy Non-Traditional Pharmacists (IANTP), Indiana Academy of Independent Pharmacists (IAIP)
While the IPA has changed names and headquarter locations over the years and the pertinent issues have changed with the decades, the purpose of the association remains the same – "to serve as the state professional organization of pharmacists, representing the pharmacy profession in Indiana, united to enhance pharmacists ability to provide pharmaceutical care and to further the public’s recognition of the profession’s value.”