Few dedicated, enthusiastic and visionary pharmacists in 1970 G.C initiated the idea of establishing a pharmaceutical association. Consequently pharmacy students of the former Haileselasse 1st University established ‘Students Pharmaceutical Association’ same year.
Later on, EPA was formally established (by 40 pharmacists) and legally registered in 1974 G.C. The situation at the time of EPA establishment was very hostile and unfavorable where the political unrest and turmoil was at the apex (1, 2).
During the 1984-1991 G.C, the autonomous EPA was merged with other health professional associations to form the “Ethiopian Health Professionals Association”. EPA was re-established as an autonomous professional association in the middle of 1991 G.C and received a legal certificate of registration (No. 177) from Ministry of Justice.
Like any other health professional associations, EPA is expected to contribute its share in the promotion of health to the public by advocating professional ethics and continuously updating the knowledge of its members.
The Ethiopian pharmaceutical association has three various types of membership scheme: regular, associate and institutional membership. Until December 2007 G.C, the association has 679 regular, 2 associate, and 16 institutional members. Registration fees, monthly contributions, donations from individuals as well as institutions (Governmental and Non-Governmental) are major sources of income for the association.
The general assembly composed of all members of the association is the supreme authority of the Ethiopian pharmaceutical association. The general assembly appoints an executive committee, editorial board and audit committee to carry out major activities of the association. The executive committee in turn establishes various subcommittees to expedite execution of day-to-day activities. The association has permanent secretariat and fulltime employees composed of professionals and support staff. The association has a defined and approved constitution. The organizational structure of the EPA is shown in annex 4.
Since its inception, EPA has carried out a number of activities, which benefited its members and the general public. The association vows to do even more in the future to positively impact the health status of the people of Ethiopia.
Some of the major activities carried out by the association include:
- Pharmaceutical sector development advocacy,
- Preparation of code of ethics for pharmacy profession,
- Organizing scientific conferences, workshops and panel discussions,
- Regular and sustained publication of the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Journal (EPJ), Pharma Forum and Book of Abstracts,
- Participation in various committees and workshops organized by different government offices,
- Actively participated and contributed a lot in policy formulation relevant to the sector,
- Organizing continuing education program and others.
The association envisages engaging in activities that would transform the association and benefit all. To this end, the association would collaborate with all parties who work to improve the heath care delivery system of the country.