The West African Society for Pharmacology (WASP) / Societe Quest Africaine de Pharmacologie (SOAP) was founded in 1971, with the late Prof. Gilbert Onuaguluchi as its first president. It was established for the purpose of advancing the science of Pharmacology and allied sciences in the West Africa sub-region. In doing this, the Society strives to improve and maintain the highest professional and ethical standards amongst its members as well as other practitioners of Pharmacology. Pharmacology is the study of the properties and actions of drugs especially in relation to their therapeutic uses (and side effects). Drugs may be described as substances that are used for diagnosis, treatment or prevention of diseases. For the Pharmacologist however, drugs are not limited to medicinal products; but include all substances that are foreign to the body including pesticides, cosmetics, alcohol and tobacco.
Membership is made up of eminent scientists in the West Africa sub-region which include, but are not limited to, medical doctors, veterinary doctors, pharmacists, molecular biologists, biochemists, phytochemists, botanists etc. They meet annually to discuss, deliberate and debate new findings, new methods and new ideas about drugs; their uses and toxicities. These efforts are geared towards manpower development through teaching and research as well as community service. The services of competent Pharmacologists are required in several outfits of government, the health services, industry, education, research and other critical sectors of the economy. The annual conferences provide avenues for dialogue and partnership in these areas and among diverse groups. The Society is the publisher of West African Journal of Pharmacology & Drug Research, one of the highly acclaimed journals in Pharmacology from within and outside Africa.
It is informative that formation of WASP pre-dates that of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), indicating the foresight of Pharmacologists within the sub-region. WASP is a member of the Union of African Societies for Pharmacology (UASPHAR) and International Union for Pharmacology (IUPHAR).