Teaching the History of Pharmacy

Resources for Teaching History in Pharmacy Education

The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy is committed to fostering the teaching of the history of pharmacy in schools and colleges of pharmacy in the United States. We provide grants to help schools purchase needed resource and reference materials. Several Institute publications have become staples in history of pharmacy courses, and we are pleased to provide the following resources for teaching the history of pharmacy.

Meeting ACPE History Guidelines:

Explore the full AIHP Guidelines on Teaching History in Pharmacy Education to meet “Standards 2016” of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. The AIHP Guidelines were developed by the Historical Studies Committee of the AIHP and approved by the AIHP Board of Directors, February 2017.

Download a .pdf of the AIHP Guidelines


A selection of presentations to assist in teaching history in pharmacy education:


AACP History of Pharmacy Special Interest Group

Founded in 2007, the History of Pharmacy Special Interest Group of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy brings together pharmacy educators interested in the history of pharmacy. The Mission of AACP’s History of Pharmacy SIG is to:

  • Promote the teaching of pharmacy history at pharmacy schools throughout North America.
  • Advance research and scholarship in the history of pharmacy.
  • Disseminate historical information about the profession to members of the academy.
  • Foster the collection and preservation of historical artifacts related to the pharmacy profession.

The web page of the AACP History of Pharmacy SIG contains sample syllabi, the SIG Newsletter Pharmacy Chronicles, and other resources for teachers.


Teaching the History of Pharmacy Today (Madison: AIHP, 1999)

The papers in this compilation were presented at the symposium, “Teaching the History of Pharmacy Today: An Exploratory Session” [pdf] sponsored by the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy during the 144th Annual Meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Los Angeles, California, March 11, 1997. The symposium was organized by AIHP Director Greg Higby.

“The history of pharmacy offers instructors a special approach to exploring the broad scope of the pharmaceutical field. It was my special pleasure to organize the symposium in Los Angeles and hear these fine presentations. There is much here that can benefit any pharmacy instructor and we hope that this booklet will inspire others to reach our students through history.”

-Gregory J. Higby, Ph.D. from the Introduction to Teaching the History of Pharmacy Today


Teaching the History & Social Aspects of Pharmacy Newsletters (New Series, Nos. 1-10)

From 2001 to 2007, AIHP published the newsletter, Teaching the History and Social Aspects of Pharmacy. The newsletter was delivered electronically and contained short articles about topics of interest, as well as tips for incorporating historical and other humanistic material into pharmacy education.

The full run of the Teaching newsletter has been digitized and issues #1-#10 (pdf) are available for download from the Teaching the History and Social Aspects of Pharmacy homepage. The homepage also contains the tables of contents from each issue to help readers explore the many topics covered in this publication.


Apothecary’s Cabinet

From 2000 to 2006, AIHP published Apothecary’s Cabinet, which featured shorter articles on pharmaco-historical topics for students and other non-specialists. Apothecary’s Cabinet contains introductory and explanatory articles by some of the leading historians of American pharmacy, including David Cowen, William Helfand, and many others.

The full run of Apothecary’s Cabinet has been digitized and issues #1-#10 (pdf) are available for download from the Apothecary’s Cabinet homepage. The homepage also contains the tables of contents from each issue to help readers explore the many topics covered in this publication.


Excerpts from AIHP Publications

Ethical Responsibility in Pharmacy Practice (Second edition, AIHP, 2002), by Robert A. Buerki and Louis D. Vottero (Table of Contents, Introduction, and Chapter 1, “Professional Values in Pharmacy Practice)

Foundations of Ethical Pharmacy Practice (AIHP, 2008), by Robert A. Buerki and Louis D. Vottero (Table of Contents and Chapter 2, “Foundations of Ethical Decision Making”)

American Pharmacy (1852-2002): A Collection of Historical Essays (AIHP, 2005), Gregory J. Higby and Elaine C. Stroud, editors (Preface and Introduction)

Fostering the creation, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge concerning the history of the pharmaceutical field.
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AIHP Thanks the Charter Members of the National Pharmacy Association Sponsorship program


  • Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, Patron

  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Patron

  • American College of Clinical Pharmacy, Donor

  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Contributor

  • American Pharmacists Association, Contributor

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Access the Pharmacy in History JSTOR Archive

All past issues of Pharmacy in History have been digitized and are text-searchable at JSTOR.

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AIHP Announces Guidelines on Teaching History in Pharmacy Education

The Historical Studies Committee of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy announces new  AIHP Guidelines on teaching History in Pharmacy Education to meet the “Standards 2016” of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

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