National Pharmacist Day | January 12
(Last Updated On: January 9, 2023)


National Pharmacist Day on January 12th annually recognizes and honors all pharmacists across the nation.


The role of pharmacists has shifted over the years. Where once they served as the classical “lick, stick and pour” dispensary, they now serve as an integrated member of the health care team. Pharmacists are often directly involved in patient care and play a vital role in a patient’s recovery. 

Historically, pharmacists primarily checked and distributed drugs to doctors for patient prescribed medication. In modern times, pharmacists advise patients and health care providers on the selection, dosages, interactions, and side effects of prescriptions. Additionally, their role includes being a learned intermediary between a prescriber and a patient. By monitoring the health and progress of patients, pharmacists can then ensure the safe and effective use of medication.

Pharmacists work long hours, usually standing the entire time. Along with dispensing pills and providing advice on medications, pharmacists also administer immunizations. Pharmacists who conduct research discover and test new medications, too.

  • Do you wonder how Agatha Christie came to know so much about poisons for her murder mysteries? She was once a pharmacy dispenser during World War I.
  • Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and Ginger Ale were all invented by pharmacists
  • Before running for President of the United States, Hubert Humphrey earned his pharmacy license and worked in his father’s pharmacy.
  • William Procter, Jr., (May 3, 1817 – February 10, 1874) dedicated his career to the science of pharmacy. He wrote the first textbook on pharmacy for students in the United States and advocated for the founding of the American Pharmaceutical Association. His dedication earned him the name Father of Pharmacy.


Anyone who has required the services of a pharmacist, take time to thank them today. Give them a shout-out. Whether they work in a facility or local pharmacy, they will appreciate the good word. If you’re considering a career, learn more about pharmacy. Use #NationalPharmacistDay to post on social media.


While we were unable to find the exact creator of this observance, it is indicated that it is likely an association of pharmaceutical groups that are founders.

Related Observances

Pharmacist FAQ

Q. Are pharmacists physicians?
A. No, but they are doctors. As of 2004, pharmacists are required to attain a Doctor of Pharmacy degree to gain entry into the pharmacy profession.

Q. Is the pharmacy profession growing?
A. Yes. More and more students are choosing pharmacy as their profession. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the profession grew by 91 thousand between 2001 and 2020 to 315 thousand pharmacists.

January 12th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


Hattie W. Caraway (D-Arkansas) wins a special election that makes her the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate. In November of the previous year, the Arkansas state legislature appointed Caraway to complete the term vacated by her husband Senator Thadeus Caraway’s death.


Batman premiered on television starring Adam West as Batman. The Caped Crusader appeared in 120 episodes that aired on ABC.


The Alcor Life Extension Foundation cryogenically preserved the first person with the intention of being resuscitated in the future. Upon his death, psychology professor Dr. James H. Bedford of California achieved half his dream of being placed in cryogenic suspension. It remains to be seen whether or not he will see the other half of his dream and survive to be re-animated.


Dr. Franklin R. Chang-Diaz launches into space aboard the space shuttle Columbia 7 and becomes the first Hispanic person in space.

January 12th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

Jack London – 1876

The American novelist and short-story writer brought outdoor survival stories to life. He’s best known for The Call of the Wild and White Fang.

Ruth R. Benerito – 1916

The American chemist revolutionized both the textile and the laundry industry with her creation of a wrinkle, stain, and flame resistant fabric.

James Farmer – 1920

The American civil rights activist co-founded the Congress of Racial Equality and worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr.

Ira Hamilton Hays – 1922

During World War II, Hays and five other U.S. Marines raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima during the six-week siege on the island. Photographer Joe Rosenthal captured the event on film. The photo would later be used to create the Marine War Memorial at Arlington, Virginia. The names of the other Marines are:

  • Sergeant Michael Strank (KIA)
  • Corporal Harlon Block (KIA)
  • Private First Class Franklin Sousley (KIA)
  • Corporal Harold Schultz
  • Corporal Harold Keller
Jeff Bezos – 1964

In 1994, the American businessman founded the technology company, Inc. At the time, the company branded itself as an online bookstore. Its services have since expanded.

Hal – 1992

According to the book, 2001 A Space Odyssey, the HAL 9000 computer became operational on this day in 1997 in Urbana, Illinois. (The film uses the year 1992.)

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