150 Years of American Pharmacy: Facts, facts, they all want facts!

April 2, 2007
Reid Paul
Reid Paul

Reid A. Paul, Senior Editor, joined <i>Drug Topics</i> in 2006. He covers technology and community pharmacies. He has six years' trade publishing experience covering the foodservice, hotel, and retail industries.

Editor's note: Throughout 2007 this column, which takes a look at some of the most important moments in pharmacy history, will appear in each issue as part of our sesquicentennial celebration. Tied with this column is a pharmacy history contest, which we urge all readers to participate in. Monthly questions based on this column will be posted on the Drug Topics anniversary microsite. Contestants are eligible to win a Visa gift card of $250. For details about the contest, go to www.drugtopics.com.

Editor's note: Throughout 2007 this column, which takes a look at some of the most important moments in pharmacy history, will appear in each issue as part of our sesquicentennial celebration. Tied with this column is a pharmacy history contest, which we urge all readers to participate in. Monthly questions based on this column will be posted on the Drug Topics anniversary microsite. Contestants are eligible to win a Visa gift card of $250. For details about the contest, go to http://www.drugtopics.com/.

In 1929, everything seemed rosy for the drugstore industry. Nationwide, more than 61,000 drugstores sold nearly $2 billion worth of merchandise. In that period, just before the Great Depression, Drug Topics published a 500-page volume: 1929 Fact Book: A guide to drug trade marketing. The Fact Book reveals an industry undergoing significant changes. While only 4,053 of the 61,865 pharmacies were chain operated, the book noted, those units grossed three times what independents did. Chains tended to have better locations and opened nearly 1,500 new units between September 1927 and March 1929.

Another trend revealed by the Fact Book was that pharmacists averaged 105 hours per work week-45 hours longer than most other retailers. For more information on pharmacies in 1929 and to read excerpts from the Fact Book, go to http://drugtopics.com/.