Our History


A Brief History

At a meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government in 1965 a decision was taken to encourage greater development of the professions and professional organisations both nationally and internationally. A major step towards this end was the establishment in 1966 of the Commonwealth Foundation with one of its aims being the formation of Commonwealth Professional Associations.

The then President and Secretary/Registrar of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain took the initiative and with the support of the Commonwealth Foundation, the inaugural meeting of the Commonwealth Pharmaceutical Association was held in London in 1969. Twenty-eight Commonwealth countries were represented.

With confirmation of its Constitution in January 1970, CPA officially came into being.

In the years since, much of CPA’s work has involved advocating the profession and the role of the pharmacist in particular, to governments and health bureaucracies.

Building capacity and strengthening health infrastructures and professional associations has been the focus of workshops, collaborative projects, training courses and travel fellowships.

Since its formation CPA organisational membership has grown to over forty national professional associations. Personal membership has been promoted over recent years and approximately 600 registered pharmacists from throughout the Commonwealth contribute their time and effort to advancing the Association’s work.

CPA In Action

In collaboration with national pharmaceutical associations, CPA has hosted seven international conferences during which a full Council Meeting has been held and a number of regional conferences in conjunction with CPA Executive Council Meetings.
Our conferences aim to facilitate the exchange of ideas, to develop practice guidelines, to establish and implement projects and activities, to provide ongoing education, to support policies of the local pharmacy profession and to promote the role of the pharmacist both nationally and internationally.

CPA Key Events

  • 1971 London – council meeting
  • 1972 Melbourne – council meeting & conference
  • 1973 Mauritius – executive committee meeting
  • 1974 London – council meeting
  • 1976 Colombo – executive committee meeting
  • 1977 Bombay – council meeting & conference
  • 1978 Hong Kong – executive meeting
  • 1980 London – executive meeting
  • 1982 Port-of-Spain – council meeting & conference
  • 1985 New Delhi – executive meeting
  • 1987 Nairobi – council meeting & conference
  • 1989 Valletta – executive committee & meetings with government
  • 1991 Hamilton Ontario – council meeting & conference
  • 1993 Dhaka – executive meeting & meetings with government
  • 1994 Lahore – meeting with government
  • 1995 Harare – council meeting & conference
  • 1997 Lusaka – executive meeting & meetings with government
  • 1997 Accra – workshop in drug supplies management
  • 1998 Singapore – workshop for Bangladeshi hospital pharmacists
  • 1999 Melbourne – council meeting & conference
  • 2001 Dar-es-Salaam – executive meeting & meeting with government
  • 2002 London – e-Health Symposium: electronic and internet applications in pharmacy practice & education.
  • 2003 – 2004 Ocho Rios, Jamaica – council meeting, conference and HIV/AIDS Workshop
  • 2005 Valletta – executive committee meeting
  • 2005 Valletta – workshop
  • 2007 Kuala Lumpur council meeting, conference and counterfeit medicines workshop
  • 2009 Accra Ghana, council meeting, conference
  • 2011 Durban, South Africa, council meeting, conference
  • 2013 Nassau, Bahamas, council meeting, conference and disability awareness workshop
  • 2017 Sydney, Australia, council meeting, conference