Supporting Innovation in Pharmacy for a Healthier Canada



In 2020, the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy celebrated its 75th anniversary. When it was established in 1945, the pharmacy journal at the time described it as "the greatest experiment ever proposed for pharmacy." The Foundation has gone on to successfully raise millions of dollars for pharmacy education, research, innovation and leadership.

Click here for an inspiring video that traces the positive changes in community pharmacy in tandem with the evolution of CFP over the past 75 years. CFP is proud to support, with your help, the advancement of pharmacy. The best is yet to come! 

Captured below are some historical facts about the Foundation and pharmacy throughout the years.

After its first year, the Canadian Foundation for the Advancement of Pharmacy had raised $67,423, the equivalent of $1 million in today's dollars. Individual pharmacists, or "druggists" as they were known then, donated $15,000 ($224,500 today). "For the first time in history, all branches of pharmacy and all who sell through the retail drugs stores are united in one major effort," said John Kennedy, President of the Foundation, during his address on August 1, 1946. Kennedy was also the President of United-Rexall Drug Company.

John Kennedy

Did you know-1996--small 


An issue of “Your Foundation News,” from 1996, included an address from CFP President Malcolm Seath, in which he described the foundation as “a vehicle through which donations can be channeled into worthwhile projects.” This issue also includes a writeup on the first annual CFP Charity Golf Classic, a tradition that continues to this day.


The conclusion of World War II saw huge demands on educational institutions. In anticipation, the Canadian Pharmaceutical Association (now the Canadian Pharmacists Association) and the Canadian Conference of Pharmaceutical Faculties appealed for assistance for schools of pharmacy, which were understaffed and under-resourced. Several pharmacy leaders, including John Kennedy, President of United-Rexall Drug Co., came together to create the not-for-profit Canadian Foundation for the Advancement of Pharmacy (CFAP). Donations from individuals and corporations enabled CFAP to produce brochures to promote pharmacy as a career, and for a number of years it funded more than 30 annual scholarships of $100 each (about $1,500 today).






The Foundation’s original logo was carefully inked by hand in 1945. While it has changed over the years, CFP’s core purpose remains intact: to advance the profession through pharmacy research and education. In its original Charter, the Canadian Foundation for the Advancement of Pharmacy main objectives were to:

  • Assist in maintaining and improving pharmaceutical education in Canada;
  • Stimulate, coordinate and aid pharmaceutical research, investigation, and experimentation;
  • Foster public relations or publicity programs;
  • Encourage government and allied professions to avail themselves to the full and expanded services that pharmacy is now prepared to render; and
  • Promote the interests of pharmacy in Canada in all ways consistent with the purposes or objects of the Foundation.


Here is an early, hand-written draft of the Foundation's first prospectus. The finalized document was used to engage pharmacy leaders to support the creation of the "Canadian Foundation for the Advancement of Pharmacy" (now CFP) some 75 years ago.



By 1947, two years after its creation, the Foundation had already provided the following for "pharmacists in training":

  • $3,575 in interest-free loans
  • $4,600 in undergraduate awards
  • $1,200 in graduate assistance
  • $5,500 in teaching fellowships
  • $1,500 in research grants

In today's dollars this would be the equivalent of $224,450! 


When the Foundation first started in 1945, its Board was comprised of 24 male officers, directors and committee members (only Board pictured here). Leading the organization was John Kennedy, president of the United-Rexall Drug Company. Today’s Board has 16 members, half of whom are women.

CFP Board 1945