The mission of the South Carolina Pharmacy Association shall be to serve its members, enabling them to advance the practice and science of pharmacy.

A Historical Glance at SCPhA
In an environment where no restrictions were placed on those who entered or practiced medicine or pharmacy, and control was limited for the quality of drugs and medicine, a group of druggists from Charleston saw the need for change. They organized and formed the Pharmaceutical Association of the State of South Carolina. Incorporated in March of 1876, four years after the first attempt to organize, the Association and its original 50 members began the long process of bringing pharmacy into the 21st century. The Association was formed then for many of the same reasons it exists today - to ensure that all pharmacists be adequately trained, educated and properly licensed to offer quality pharmaceutical services to the public, and to constantly strive for the advancement of the profession of pharmacy.

Early Legislative Influence

Shortly after their charter was granted, the new Association members began working and saw passage of the Comprehensive Pharmacy Act of 1876, which had been in the works for years prior to the Association's establishment. Under the Pharmacy Act, the responsibility for licensing pharmacists fell into the hands of the pharmacist members of the state. Four of the six members were Association-appointed pharmacists, and the remaining two were faculty members from the Medical Universities. Though the Columbia Board never functioned, the Charleston Board grew in strength and in scope, and became an integral part of pharmacy. The creation of the South Carolina Board of Pharmacy opened the door for many other changes, which had been necessary to ensure the safety of public health and the quality of pharmaceutical services. Through the initiative and leadership of the state association, the original Act of 1876 was amended on several occasions - always with the objective of encouraging high ethical and professional standards in the profession.


Education and Training
In addition to licensing restriction, the young Association also addressed the need for proper education and training. Historically, proper education for pharmacists was difficult to find and was often ineffective. In 1881, at the urging of Association leaders, the legislature allowed for a separate Department of Pharmacy at the Medical University. Later, the College of Pharmacy at the University of South Carolina in Columbia was organized in 1888. The Association provided guidance in curriculum selection and graduation requirements for the newly formed colleges.


SCPhA Today
In the more recent past, the Association has played a significant part in the role of continuing education requirements for pharmacists. As the science of pharmacy became more sophisticated, the Association saw the importance of insuring that pharmacists stay abreast of the rapidly changing information. SCPhA is an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) approved provider for continuing education. The Association constantly strives to offer readily available and quality education services to South Carolina pharmacists.

SCPhA's legislative influence has gained strength in recent years. Through tremendous work of SCPhA's Legislative Network, H3631, "Rx Freedom of Access" was passed by the SC General Assembly and signed into state law in May 1994. The Association led the effort for a complete revision of the Pharmacy Practice Act, which was signed into law in June of 1998.

SCPhA has grown from its original 50 male members and no staff to more than 2,000 male and female pharmacy professionals and a full-time staff of 7 professionals. These members and staff continue to work toward positive changes that sustain the profession of pharmacy.


In 2001, as we celebrated 125 years of service to the profession of pharmacy, SCPhA purchased a new home. We are now located in 16,000+ sq. ft. building. The facility provides exciting opportunities to host continuing education programs for pharmacists throughout the state, professional meetings and to partner with other healthcare professionals. 


Interesting Facts

  • Pamela Whitmire, SCPhA Past-President (1995), served as APhA Speaker of the House of Delegates.
  • Ransome J. Williams, SCPhA Past-President, served as Governor of South Carolina, 1945-1947.
  • The Traveling Men's Auxiliary (TMA) was established in 1920 at the Annual Convention. It later became known as the Traveling Members Auxiliary.
  • Robert E. Davis, SCPhA Past-President (1986), served as APhA President (1995).
  • The Association name was changed from the Pharmaceutical Association of the State of South Carolina to the South Carolina
  • Pharmaceutical Association in 1969; at the Annual meeting in July 1994. The name was changed again in 1994 to the South Carolina Pharmacy Association.
  • W.H. Ziegler, SCPhA Past-President, went on to serve as American Pharmacy Association (APhA) Vice President

SCPhA: A Historical Time Line

  • 1876 Pharmaceutical Association of the State of South Carolina formed in Charleston
  • 1876 The Comprehensive Pharmacy Act of 1876 passed by state legislature placed the responsibility for licensing practitioners to the State Association and created two boards of Pharmaceutical Examiners (Charleston & Columbia).
  • 1881 Department of Pharmacy formed by state legislature at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston
  • 1888 College of Pharmacy formed by state legislature at the University of South Carolina
  • 1904 First Female pharmacists graduate from the South Carolina Colleges of Pharmacy
  • 1920 Traveling Men's Auxiliary (TMA) formed
  • 1923 Women's Auxiliary formed
  • 1963 Palmetto Pharmacist begins publication
  • 1967 Executive Director (now Executive Vice President) position created
  • 1969 Pharmaceutical Association of the State of South Carolina name changed to South Carolina Pharmaceutical Association
  • 1994 "Rx Freedom of Access" legislation passes/House of Delegates votes to do business as the South Carolina Pharmacy Association
  • 1998 Successful passage of a new Pharmacy Practice Act
  • 2001 125th Anniversary/SCPhA moves into a new facility at 1350 Browning Road.
  • 2010 South University School of Pharmacy starts its first class in June; expected graduation date of 2013; Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy welcomes its first class in August; expected graduation date of 2014
  • 2011 South Carolina Foundation Brick Pharmacy Engraved Brick Unveiling Ceremony at SCPhA
  • 2012 Ceremony held in honor of Ralph Wilkie, one of SCPhA’s most notable members
  • 2012 Fair Audit Bill passed in regards to Immunizations