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Samford University School of Pharmacy
Started by William Propst Sr., the company's history mirrors the evolution of the pharmaceutical industry in the U.S. Propst Sr. is chairman of Qualitest and his son William Propst Jr., serves as the company's vice chairman.
Propst graduated from Samford pharmacy school in 1946, began work for Walgreens and opened his own store in North Alabama in 1963. He built five others in Huntsville and in 1968 was approached by the Kmart corporation. He got the franchise to establish pharmacies in Kmarts across the U.S., then the company offered to buy the franchises from him and he took over as Kmart's pharmacy director in 1970. For Propst that meant a move to Michigan, where he served with Kmart for more than 16 years. Propst said Michigan was one of the first states, in 1979, to enact a generic drug law and he had had a close vantage point to the beginnings of that market. "During that time, generics were just becoming fashionable and we (Kmart) were buying them from everywhere," Propst said. "Management wanted to determine where we were buying everything from so we started Qualitest in 1985 to test the products." Propst left Kmart in 1986 and bought a part interest in Qualitest so he could move it to Huntsville. By 1989, he realized to make the business work Qualitest needed to get into manufacturing. Kmart wasn't interested in that, so he bought out the company's share and in 1992 bought a pharmaceutical production plant in Charlotte. He named that operation Vintage Pharmaceuticals. Propst said when he started the company there were 250 to 300 drug wholesalers in the marketplace; today there are about 45 and three or four dominate about 85 percent of the business.
The limited liability company registered to William S. Propst, asks a judge to "terminate and remove" the five Huntsville Historic Preservation Commission members who voted against the house.
The May 14th vote, amounted to an "inverse condemnation" of his land by rendering it unsuitable for its intended purpose, alleges Bill Propst, Jr. He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well attorney's fees. The lawsuit stems from the board's vote earlier this month blocking Propst from starting construction on a home at 415 Echols Ave. in Twickenham. The board raised concerns that the ornate, two-story house would tower over neighboring homes. The estimated size of the Propst estate was 15,000 square feet. Four of the preservation board sided with Propst. One member of the board who sided with Propst, Peter Lowe, said it would be "unconscionable" to tell Propst no after approving design plans for the home at a November 14, 2011 meeting. One member of the board who sided with Propst, Peter Lowe, said it would be "unconscionable" to tell Propst no after approving design plans for the home at a November 14, 2011 meeting. Propst was also allowed to tear down the former residence to make room for his estate. Propst's attorney wrote that the defendants … owed (Propst) a duty to honor the approval of the 2011 Application and the Echols House, including its design and scale, and to properly evaluate the 2012 Application in light of the (preservation commission's) prior precedential decision. Propst, Jr., is the son of Vintage Pharmaceuticals founder William S. Propst, Sr., who in 2007 sold the company for approximately $1 billion.
Propst, Jr., is the son of Vintage Pharmaceuticals founder William S. Propst, Sr., who in 2007 sold the company for approximately $1 billion.
In 2009, Propst, Sr., and his wife donated $5 million to the city to upgrade the Von Braun Center arena, now known as Propst Arena.
William Propst, in addition to the drug store that bears this name, founded Huntsville-based Vintage Pharmaceuticals and its sister distribution company, Qualitest.
The buyer, Apax Partners, said it is interested in expanding the company's reach into international markets; company founder William Propst Sr. said the deal would help ensure "the long-term employment and prosperity of our employees and benefit this great city."