A Contribution to Western Pennsylvania Pharmacy

A History of the Pittsburgh College of Pharmacy 1878-1958

Appendix V - Disjecta Membra

Document F


The Pennsylvania Pharmacy Law

An Act

To regulate the practice of Pharmacy and sale of Poisons, and to prevent Adulterations in Drugs and Medicinal Preparations in the State of Pennsylvania. --Approved May 24, 1887.

WHEREAS, The safety of the public is endangered by want of care in the sale of poisons, whether to be used as such for legitimate purposes or employed as medicines, and dispensed on the prescriptions of physicians:

And whereas, The ability of physicians to overcome disease, depends greatly on their obtaining good and unadulterated drugs and properly prepared medicines:

And whereas, The persons to whom the preparation and sale of drugs, medicines, and poisons properly belong known as apothecaries, chemists, and druggists or pharmacists, should possess a practical knowledge of the business and science of pharmacy in all its relations; therefore,

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly met and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That hereafter no person whatsoever shall open or carry on as manager in the State of Pennsylvania, any retail drug or chemical store, nor engage in the business of compounding or dispensing medicines or prescriptions of physicians or of selling at retail any drugs, chemicals, poisons or medicines without having obtained a certificate of competency and qualification so to do, from the State Pharmaceutical Examining Board, and having been duly registered as herein provided.

SECTION 2. That there shall be established in the State of Pennsylvania, a board to be styled the State Pharmaceutical Examining Board, to consist of five persons, three of whom shall constitute a quorum, who shall be appointed by the Governor from among the most skillful retail apothecaries actually engaged in said business in the State of Pennsylvania, and who must have had ten years practical experience in the same, one to serve five years, one four years, one three years, one two years, and one one year in the first instance, and thereafter annually the Governor shall appoint one person to serve as a member of said Board for the term of five years. The said persons so appointed shall be and constitute the said State Pharmaceutical Examining Board, and shall hold the office for the term for which they were appointed or until their successors are duly appointed and qualified, and shall receive as a compensation for their services five dollars for each day actually engaged in this service, and all legitimate and necessary expenses incurred in attending the meetings of said board under the provisions of this act; and no part of the salary of said board or expenses thereof shall be paid out of the State treasury.

The said Board shall organize by electing one of its members secretary, who, in addition to his compensation as a member of said board shall receive a further sum not to exceed one hundred dollars annually, for his services as secretary.

They, the said board and each of them, shall within ten days after their appointment, or being apprised of the same, take and subscribe an oath or affirmation before a properly qualified officer of the county in which they reside, that they will faithfully and impartially perform the duties of their office.

Any vacancies occurring in said board shall be filled by the Governor of the State of Pennsylvania from among such only as are eligible for original appointment.

SECTION 3. The said Pharmaceutical Examining Board shall keep a book of registration open at some convenient place, of which due notice shall be given by advertisement in at least four newspapers of the State, and so divided as to reach as nearly as practicable all parts thereof, in which book shall be registered the name and address of each and every person duly qualified under this act to conduct and carry on the retail drug and apothecary business, or to hold the position of qualified assistants therein. And it shall be the duty of all persons now conducting, or who shall hereafter conduct the business of retail apothecaries, or those acting in the capacity of qualified assistants therein, in said State, to apply to said board and be registered as such within ninety days after such notice, and thereafter every three years. Application for registration only may be sent by mail to the secretary of the examining board after being properly attested before a notary public or any other person authorized to administer an oath or affirmation in the county in which the applicant resides.

The form of application shall be subject to such regulations as the board may see proper to adopt, but in no case shall the applicant be put to any unnecessary expense in order to secure registration.

SECTION 4. The said board shall be entitled to demand and receive from each applicant for examination and registration and for the certificate hereinafter provided, a fee not to exceed two dollars, and for registration only, a fee not to exceed one dollar in the first instance, and for renewing the same every three years a fee not to exceed one dollar; and the amount derived from this source shall be held by said board and be applied to the expenses and salaries herein provided and such as may arise under the provisions of this act, and they, the said board, shall report annually to the Governor of the State of Pennsylvania all moneys received and disbursed under the provisions of this act, together with the number of pharmacists registered under this act.

SECTION 5. That it shall be the duty of said board to meet at least once every three months in the city of Harrisburg, or at such other place as they may deem expedient, and examine all persons who shall desire to carry on the business of a retail apothecary, or that of retailing drugs, chemicals, or poisons, or of compounding physicians' prescriptions, touching their competency and qualifications; and they, the said board, or a majority of them, shall grant to such persons as shall be qualified, certificates of competency or qualification, which shall entitle the holders thereof either to conduct or carry on the business, or to act as a qualified assistant therein, as may be expressed upon the said certificate, and such certificate together with its renewals shall be good and sufficient evidence of registration under this act.

All persons applying for examination for certificate to entitle them to conduct and carry on the retail drug or apothecary business, must produce satisfactory evidence of having had not less than four years' practical experience in the business. And those applying for examination for certificates as qualified assistants therein, must produce evidence of having had not less than two years' experience in said business.

SECTION 6. That no person shall hereafter engage as manager in the business of an apothecary or pharmacist, or of retailing drugs, chemicals, and poisons, or of compounding and dispensing the prescriptions of physicians, either directly or indirectly, without having obtained such certificate as aforesaid. But nothing contained in this act shall in any manner whatever interfere with the business of any practitioner of medicine, nor prevent him from administering or supplying to his patients such articles as to him may seem fit and proper, nor shall it interfere with the making and dealing in proprietary remedies popularly called patent medicines, nor prevent storekeepers from dealing in and selling the commonly used medicines and poisons, if such medicines and poisons conform in all respects to the requirements of section nine, provided the provisions of section ten of this act are fully complied with.

Any person who shall violate or fail to comply with the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction before any court, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or be imprisoned in the county jail of the proper county, for a term not exceeding one year, or either, or both, at the discretion of the court.

SECTION 7. That the foregoing provisions of this act shall not apply to, or effect any person who shall be engaged in the retail drug or apothecary business, as proprietor of the same, or as qualified assistant therein, at the passage of this act, except only in so far as relates to registration and fees provided in sections three and four of this act.

A qualified assistant engaged in the business at the passage of this act, is one who has had not less than two years' practical experience in the retail drug and apothecary business. All other assistants actually engaged in the business at the passage of this act shall, upon the completion of a like term of two years' experience be entitled to registration as qualified assistants without examination.

SECTION 8. That no person shall be allowed by the proprietor or manager of any store or place where prescriptions are compounded, to compound, or dispense the prescriptions of physicians, except under the immediate supervision of said proprietor or his qualified assistant, unless holding a properly certified certificate or registration or competency from the State Pharmaceutical Examining Board as herein provided, and any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars.

SECTION 9. That no person shall knowingly, willfully, or fraudulently, falsify, or adulterate, or cause to be falsified or adulterated, any drug or medicinal substance, or any preparation authorized or recognized by the pharmacopoeia of the United States, or used or intended to be used in medicinal practice, nor mix or cause to be mixed with any such drug or medicinal substance any foreign or inert substance whatsoever, for the purpose of destroying or weakening its medicinal power and effect, and willfully, knowingly or fraudulently sell or cause the same to be sold for medicinal purposes.

Any person who shall violate this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars and shall forfeit to the Commonwealth all articles so adulterated.

SECTION 10. POISONS.-A poison in the meaning of this act shall be any drug, chemical, or preparation which, according to standard works on medicine, or materia medica, is liable to be destructive to adult human life in quantities of sixty grains or less.

No person shall sell at retail any poison, except as herein provided, without affixing to the bottle, box, vessel, or package containing the same, a label, printed or plainly written, containing the name of the article, the word "poison", and the name and place of business of the seller, nor shall he deliver poison to any person without satisfying himself that such poison is to be used for legitimate purposes.

It shall be the further duty of any one selling or dispensing poisons which are known to be destructive to adult human life, in quantities of five grains or less, before delivering them, to enter in a book kept for this purpose, the name of the seller, the name and residence of the buyer, the name of the article, quantity sold or disposed of, and the purpose for which it is said to be intended; which book of registry shall be preserved for at least two years, and shall at all times be open to the inspection of the coroner, or courts of the county in which the same may be kept.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to the dispensing of physicians' prescriptions specifying poisonous articles, nor to the sale to agriculturists of such articles as are commonly used by them as insecticides. Any person failing to comply with the provisions of this section, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not less than five, nor more than fifty dollars for each and every offense.

SECTION 11. Any graduate of any accredited medical college who has had not less than three years continuous practice since the date of his diploma, and who is registered as a practitioner of medicine, and surgery under the act entitled "An act to provide for the registration of all practitioners of medicine and surgery", approved the eighth day of June, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and eighty-one, may be registered under this act without examination, and be granted a certificate which shall entitle him to conduct and carry on the retail drug or apothecary business as proprietor, or manager thereof, subject to fees provided in sections three and four of this act.

SECTION 12. It shall be the duty of the State Pharmaceutical Examining Board to investigate all complaints, and charges of non-compliance, or violation of the provisions of this act, and prosecute all persons So offending, whenever appear to the board reasonable ground for such action.

SECTION 13. That all acts, and parts of acts, so far as they may be in this are hereby declared void and of no effect.

A Supplement

To the Act entitled "An Act to Regulate the Practice of Pharmacy and sale of Poisons, and to prevent Adulterations in Drugs and Medicinal Preparations in the State of Pennsylvania." Approved the twenty-fourth day of May, Anno Domini, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven, requiring persons holding certificates of registrations or renewal certificates under the provisions of this act to keep said certificates and renewal certificates in some conspicuous place in their retail drug stores and pharmacies and providing a penalty for the violation thereof.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That hereafter every proprietor, manager and qualified assistant holding a certificate of registration or renewal certificate the provisions of an act entitled, "An act to regulate the practice of pharmacy and sale of poisons and to prevent adulterations in drugs and medicinal preparations in the State of Pennsylvania," approved the twenty-fourth day of May, Anno Domini, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven, shall keep his or her certificate of registration and renewal certificate in some conspicuous place in his or her retail drug store or pharmacy or in the retail drug store or pharmacy where he or she maybe at the time employed.

And every person who shall violate or fail to comply with the provisions of this section shall for every such offense forfeit and pay the sum of ten dollars ($10.00), which shall be recoverable with costs by any person suing in the name of the Commonwealth, as debts of like amount are by law recoverable, which sum when so recovered shall be paid to the State Pharmaceutical Examining Board.

Approved June 25th, 1895.