Pharmacy History Stories

Don Phillips, Experiences as Chairman of the APhA International Relations Committee 1965-68, 11-1-11

In 1962, I was chosen as one of a few Drug Store owners to participate in President Eisenhower's "People to People " tour of pharmacists from the U.S. to Europe to promote foreign relations with pharmacists in that region.  After returning from that visit to Belgium, I was fortunate to be appointed to the International Relations Committee of the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) in 1965 by  President George Grider of Kentucky. I had met and made friends with George while attending National Association of Boards of Pharmacy meetings. When he was elected as APhA President, he called and asked if I would serve on a committee. I was elated that he asked and told him that I would be glad to serve in any capacity that he needed me.

After my first meeting at the Federation of International Pharmacists in Madrid, Spain, I was selected by the members of the committee to be Chairman.  As Chairman I represented the APhA at all the World Health and Pharmacy Meetings. My experience as Chairman of theAPhA International Relations Committee 1965-1968 was some of the most rewarding times in my pharmacy career. I had the opportunity to visit with pharmacists in over 30 different countries around the world to learn about pharmacy operations, drug laws, regulations,drug control responsibilities,pharmaceutical drug manufacture, and the role that pharmacists played in local governments.

I presented papers, made talks, and visited with the heads of pharmacy organizations, pharmaceutical drug manufactures and government health officials in each of these countries. On returning from these visits, I prepared reports to our committee with recommendations and proposals to our organization regarding findings that could be useful to our pharmacy practices. On occasion I would appear before the U.S. Senate Public Health Committees to report on different aspects of prescription drug handling and control in these countries and how the U.S. pharmacists and citizens could  benefit from our findings of their operations in this regard,  I had the opportunity to make several close friends and to meet some high ranking health officials around the world. Some of what I learned about practices from around the world helped me to formulate proposals to the committee that would help pharmacy not only in Arkansas but throughout theU.S.

I am forever thankful that by being a pharmacist and being active within our organization afforded me with these once-in-a-lifetime adventures.

James A. Fields Career History, 9-16-11
R.Ph (Tex) 20424 D.PH (Okla.) 8513 PD (Ark) 5939 

First Rx – Filled 1st Rx early 1960 as an Apprentice in the John Marshall High school DE (Distributive Education) program – working for Don Crane RPh (owner), and Larry Barber RPh (intern) at Northside Pharmacy, 89th and N Western in Oklahoma City…Incorporated 10gr of menthol into 8 ounces of Balm Barr Cream for an Rx prescribed by Doctor Marcus Cox MD… 

College 1962 – 1965 – Southwestern State College, Weatherford, Oklahoma…Plowed fields and cut wheat  for John Labinus on his farm North of Hydro, Oklahoma (for $1.00/hr and dinner)…Inventoried 8 drug stores for the Irby Drug Chain in Oklahoma City between semesters for college tuition (working for John Irby RPh and Don Crane RPH…drove ambulances, apprenticed mortuary science on week-ends, summers, and holidays for income, adventure and a place to live (dormitory apartment at Sherman Funeral Home – Britton Road & N Western Ave in OKC) working for Velt Sherman… 

Police 1965-1966 –Took a job as Police Officer in The Village, Okla. (Hoping to avoid The Vietnam Draft and stay in school) working for Chief Jack Reed VPD…received a military draft notice anyway…was rescued by the Air Force with their Delayed Enlistment Program (they just didn’t delay the enlistment)… 

Air Force (Calif) 1966-1968 – United States Air Force Pharmacy Technician in the 6510th USAF Hospital at Edwards Air Force Base, California…(in support of the flight test programs for the XB-70, SR71, X-15. F-111 and U2 aircraft)…working for Malcolm E (Smokey) Barnes, SSgt… 

Air Force (Texas) 1969-1973 -  Instructor, United States Air Force Medical Service School, (Pharmacy Training) Wichita Falls, Texas…teaching Math, Organic Medicinal Chemistry, Compounding and Dispensing, and some Pharmacology….working for Malcolm E (Smokey) Barnes, MSgt… 

Back to School 1971-1973 – Returned to Southwestern State College (while still serving the Air Force Medical Service School as a consultant)…earning a BS in Pharmacy… 

Retail Pharmacy 1973-1975 – Interned at Bolin Drug in Mulberry, Arkansas (working for Larry Barber RPh)…Licensed in Texas, Oklahoma & Arkansas by examination…worked relief in a variety of pharmacies (Independent Retail, Indian Clinic and Chain Stores) in Oklahoma and Arkansas while taking flight training for a pilot’s license (Flight Instructors – Kent Cummins, Paul Hadley, Hal Hackenbarger, Grady Stone, Steve Grizzle and others)… 

Sparks 1975-1983 – Employed by Sparks Hospital in Fort Smith, Arkansas (working for Mat Griffin PD and Judy Thompson PD)…helped to innovate the hospital’s first computer system, IV additive program, unit dose dispensing system and their 12 hour, 7 days on 7 days off night shifts… 

CAP 1979-1983 – Served as Commander of the Fort Smith Civil Air Patrol Squadron…our squadron flew 12 Air Force authorized search missions…received Air Force training in Aerial Radiological Monitoring for 10 squadron members…received Commendations for 2 extended searches… 

Stonewood Village 1984 - Present – Opened Stonewood Village Pharmacy March 8th 1984, an Independent Retail Pharmacy (and Gift Shop) in Fort Smith, Arkansas…currently celebrating 28 years of service to this community… (Associates: Jeff Mosby, Cindy Gibson, Britt Mounce, Norbert Roach, and Nancy Fields RN (wife)… 

NCPA 2009 – Article published in America’s Pharmacist, July 2009 “Security through Deterrence” with Photography by Rick Roach (Brother-in-Law and Photo Editor for Vacaville, California News Paper)… 

RxPatrol 2010 – NCPA Host to RxPatrol for the production of a training video on security for the NCPA Convention 2010 and the Website… 

PUTT 2011 – Charter participant in “Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency” (PUTT)…see…a Public Relations effort to save Independent Pharmacy Ownership…

Don Phillips, My 50 Wonderful Years in Pharmacy, 9-16-11

After spending over 25 years owning and operating two retail pharmacies in Arkadelphia, I sold my pharmacies and went to work for the Arkansas Department of Health in June 1975. 

I was serving as the pharmacy representative member of the Arkansas State Board of Health when the Generic Drug Substitution Law was passed and the Arkansas Department of Health was the agency charged with the responsibility to draft rules and regulations to enforce the provisions of the Law. 

I was hired by the Department to be the Director of the Bureau of Pharmacy Services and Drug Control to provide for the development of rules and regulations to comply with this new law. 

The Department already had the responsibility by law to regulate and enforce the regulations with regards to all handlers of drugs, including pharmacists, physicians, dentists, veterinarians, wholesale and retail drug handlers. This included OTC drugs, prescription drugs, controlled substances, and cosmetics. Also, the Director of the Bureau of Pharmacy Services and Drug Control was charged with the responsibility to designate the scheduling of controlled substances. The Director was also responsible for the accountability and distribution of all prescription medication distributed by the Public Health Clinics throughout the state. 

As the Director of the Division of Pharmacy Services and Drug Control at the department of health for 20 years, I felt that my accomplishments in the field of Pharmacy were the most satisfying of my career. This field of Pharmacy was new and exciting for me and afforded me the ability to travel and consult with pharmacists, Controlled Drug Officials, FDA officials, and Public Health officials, from all over the United States. 

After developing the approved list of prescription drugs that could be dispensed as generic equivalent, and developing and implementing rules, regulations, and policies and procedures, to comply with this new Generic Prescription Substitution Law, the following accomplishments were achieved:

  • Developed and implemented a quality assurance program for pharmacy services in each local public health unit. The program utilizes the services of local pharmacies and local consultant pharmacists to provide for prescription medication to be dispensed to patients of public health units in compliance with state and federal law;
  • Developed and implemented regulations, standards of practice, policies and procedures for the consultant pharmacists in long term care facilities in Arkansas, Hospital pharmacies, licensed infirmaries, emergency vehicles and public health clinics for the handling of prescription drugs;
  • Prepared legislation that would provide that the Arkansas Department of Health shall administer the Uniform Controlled Substances Act and to clarify terminology and procedures for scheduling controlled substances;
  • Developed working relations with the local and regional offices of the DEA, FDA and CPSC in order to gain assistance and utilize their services in matters of drug control;
  • Developed working relationship with the state police, the prosecuting attorneys, local police, county sheriff offices and other enforcement agencies in matters of drug control;
  • Developed working relations with the professional boards in order to gain their support in the enforcement of the drug laws as it pertains to their licensed handlers;
  • Instituted workable system of ordering, storing and distributing of drugs and supplies through the Central Pharmacy of the Dept. of Health, to the county health clinics;
  • Revitalized the Division of Drug Control by recognizing and researching the laws for authority to function.  Set specific goals and objectives based on legislative authority and specific needs of the citizens of Arkansas;
  • Developed and prepared legislation that would designate the Investigators of the Division of Pharmacy services and Drug Control, as the sole investigators of the Medical, Dental, Nursing, Veterinary and Podiatrist Boards, to more efficiently enforce the drug laws pertaining to the licensed handlers.

In preparing this legislation, I worked closely with Lester Hosto with the Board of Pharmacy to insure that the Pharmacy Board would be the designated investigators of licensed Pharmacies.

Jan Hastings, Red, the ideal patient, 8-30-11

From 1988-1991, while managing the pharmacy at Drug Emporium, I filled prescriptions for "Red". His friend and owner told me that Red was an Irish Setter who had some pain issues but this medicine really helped him get back to his youthful exhuberance. I told him that Red seemed like a really cool patient and I wished I could meeting him someday. Several months later, the owner walked up to my counter and asked if I could meet him at the back door. He said he had a surprise for me. At the back door, in the bed of his truck was an aging Irish Setter named Red! He was playful and but a gentleman too. A few weeks later, the owner came in to tell me that Red had passed away. I was extremely sad as was the owner but so glad that he had taken the time earlier for me to meet my patient! It made a big impact on me emotionally and professionally. I now teach an elective at the UAMS College of Pharmacy and Red played a big part in why I started the course. My students have the chance to be better prepared for dealing with non-human patients than I was. I hope someday they get a chance to meet a wonderful patient like Red!!

Sarah Mitchell, History of pharmacy in Calico Rock, 8-30-11

In 1879, Roby & Calloway opened the first drug store in Calico Rock, Arkansas.  Since that time, the pharmacy has changed ownership several times.  With every ownership change, the name has changed, too.  Over the years, it has been called Evans Brothers Drug Store, City Drug Store, and Perryman Drug Store.  In 2000, it became Mitchell's Park Street Pharmacy.  Today, the pharmacy is the longest continually operating business in Izard County.  Despite the changes in ownership, the pharmacy has always strived to serve our customers with hospitality and quality health care for over 132 years.

Phyllis Brandon, My Father, Calvin Dillaha, 8-23-11

On the wall of my home office hangs the framed copy of Certificate of Registration issued by the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy to my dad, Calvin A. Dillaha. It is number 2466 and it  was issued November 12, 1919. My mother told me that this was his second one since the first one burned in a fire at Snodgrass and Bracy Drug Co. That drug store was located on Main Street, between Markham and Second Sts.

He was born in November, 1897, in Little Rock and died in December of 1961. He learned to be a pharmacist as an apprentice. He met my mother, Vera Burt, who was working in the bookkeeping department at the drug store. They married in 1922. She was 19 years old.

Calvin Dillaha was a pharmacist all his life. When I was born in 1935 he owned the Dillaha Drug Co. at 11th and Battery Sts. For many years he was manager and pharmacist at Smith's Drug Store, which was then on the corner of Kavanaugh and Van Buren. 

Jerry Stephens, The Samuel Bracy story from the Historical Record Association Annals of Arkansas 1947 , 8-23-11

Samuel Virginius Bracy story from the Historical Record Association Annals of Arkansas 1947: This article is well-written with more information than we would normally receive about a pharmacist during this period. Some interesting information that we can further research:

1) He was President of the Pharmacy Board for 10 years. Who served with him on the Board? When was the Board formed?

 2) He went to the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. His father, who encouraged him in his choice of profession, knew the disadvantages of the lack of pharmaceutical education for one in the drug store business. This was rare at the time. Most pharmacists were "Practical Pharmacists" or trained under on that was Registered. This is a huge subject that can be explored.

3) He was one of the founders of Club 99 Rotary. Club 99 is one of the oldest Rotary Clubs in America and is still active in Little Rock. 4) He formed a partnership with Latta Snodgrass, another pharmacist, and they opened the Snodgrass and Bracy Drug Company in 1898. The store, in one location or another, never closed through three decades. I believe it closed in 1947 on Main Street in Little Rock.

Samuel V. Bracy III was owner of Peerles Engravers and now retired. Fletcher is now a retired psychologist. Calvin is a physician in Pine Bluff. I have a connection to sons of Samuel Jr. Samuel III (Sam) Fletcher (Lewis) is a partner in the Rix Professional Building in Hot Springs. The building is listed on the National Register and is a restored middle school. Phyllis Brandon, retired High Profile editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is the daughter of Calvin Dillaha who worked for Snodgrass and Bracy. (See Pharmacy Story from Phyylis Brandon.) I shared the "Anals of Arkansas" with Jon Wolfe. Jon thought it would be a good project for students to review these profiles for any additional information about pharmacists. I am sure much more can be added to the story of Samuel V. Bracy and the Snodgrass & Bracy Drug Company.

Jon Wolfe, Why I Studied Pharmacy, 8-19-11

My decision to study pharmacy sprang from friendship with a practicing pharmacist, Gary Denton.  Donna and I lived in one side of a duplex, Gary and Evelyn in the other.  I witnessed the hours that he kept, went with him sometimes when he filled after-hours prescriptions.  We talked about the things in life that are important.

When I came to a career crossroads, pharmacy drew me, through Gary's example.  One evening I sat on a stool in his dispensing area and asked simply: "What are my chances of getting into pharmacy school?"  The rest flowed from his answer.

From that time until today I have not looked back. I have had cause only to rejoice that a close friend I could enter the profession.