The Manchester Pharmaceutical Association is winding up after more than 150 years

Having been inactive for the past 12 years, on 13 November 2022 — just over 154 years after its formation in 1868 — the affairs of the Manchester Pharmaceutical Association (MPA) were wound up. Any recent records relating to its activities, which have not already been archived at the John Rylands University of Manchester Library, are to be added to the archive, its insignia is to be donated to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum and all remaining monies will be donated to Pharmacist Support.

Originally named the ‘Manchester Chemists and Druggists Association’, the MPA was formed in response to the passing of the 1868 Pharmacy Act, which required all practising chemists and druggists to be registered with the then Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (PSGB).

After its enactment, registration could only be achieved by examination. Similar associations were founded in many other provincial cities and towns, whose objectives — like those of the MPA — included the provision locally of courses and other educational resources to enable unqualified assistants to sit and hopefully pass the PSGB’s examinations. 

When the PSGB set up local branches in 1922 to engage the membership in its professional and other activities, many of the provincial associations disbanded. However, the MPA chose to form a Joint Executive Council with the Manchester branch, each having its own officers excepting the secretary, which was a joint appointment.

While the branch dealt with professional and practice matters, the association then became mainly responsible for organising social and benevolent events.

On the re-organisation of the then named Royal Pharmaceutical Society in 2009, which resulted in the loss of the branch system, the MPA council decided that it should continue in case some form of local organisation was still required. However, after more than ten years of inactivity, the decision was taken with regret that, after providing support for the pharmacists of Manchester and Salford for more than 150 years, the affairs of the MPA should be wound up.

Further information about the formation of the MPA and its early history/activities can be found in articles to be published in Pharmaceutical Historian 52(4):2022 and in further 2023 editions, published online by Ingenta Connect.

Geoff Benson

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, December 2022, Vol 309, No 7968;309(7968)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2022.1.168250

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