In August 1942 the late Willem Last purchased Flemmings Chemist Ltd from a Mr Patterson. Flemmings Chemist was situated at 75a Joubert Str corner of Plein Str, Johannesburg in the Tower Building. During 1943 the name was changed to W.Last Chemist. Willem Last decided to turn the pharmacy into a homeopathic pharmacy and became agent for the following international companies:
A Nelson & Co., Dr Reckeweg & Co., Dr Willmar Schwabe, C. Th. Voorhoeve & Co., C. De Koning Tilly, Terra Branca, Ludwig Heumann & Co., F. Trenka, Dr. Madaus & Co., Singer, Strath-Labor AG.
W.Last Chemist was the first Homeopathic pharmacy in the Transvaal. Willem Last was joined by his son Jan Last during the late fifties. Wilhelm Venter snr. joined W.Last Chemist during the middle sixties after finishing his Masters degree in Pharmacy at Potchefstroom University. He became partner in 1967.
W.Last Chemist moved to 69 Joubert Str on the corner of Bree Str in 1972 after the premises in Tower building became too small. During this period W.Last Chemist grew steadily and became well known in homeopathic circles.
Sanctions, import restrictions and the falling Rand made importing increasingly difficult. During the late seventies it was decided to start importing medicating tinctures from Ainsworth's Pharmacy in London, instead of pre-medicated tablets and granules from Nelson's. Tablets, granules and liquids were then medicated locally and this allowed W.Last Chemist to keep up with the demand for remedies and to keep the prices affordable. At first there was a lot of resistance against the W.Last remedies and people insisted on the Nelson's remedies. As people and doctors started using the remedies they became aware of the outstanding quality and refused to use the few Nelson's remedies still left over in the conversion process.
Jan Last passed away in 1979 and Willem Last decided to sell all the shares to Wilhelm Venter Snr. Willem Last also passed away in 1982. Wilhelm Venter snr. continued with the tradition and became well known and loved amongst the homeopathic community. As the Rand value continued to fall, it became less and less viable to import the various complex remedies from Reckeweg, Schwabe and Madaus. Wilhelm Venter decided to concentrate on the single remedies as this was also the area where his interest lay.
Wilhelm Venter passed away suddenly in 1990. His wife Brenda Venter took over the reigns of W Last Chemist until Wilhelm Venter jnr. finished his pharmacy degree in 1992.
W.Last Chemist relocated to Cape Town in 1995. This decision was taken due the continued degradation of the Johannesburg city centre and the saturated market in Johannesburg. A distribution office was opened in Johannesburg.
In 2001 Dr. Glenn Ferguson a graduate of the Master degree in Homeopathy offered by WITS Technikon became the general manager for the Johannesburg distribution office. It was decided that W.Last Homeopathic in Johannesburg would concentrates solely on manufacturing and wholesaling to ensure a continued supply of high quality homeopathic single remedies. Gels and creams where still to be manufactured in Cape Town.
Wilhelm Venter jnr immigrated to Canada in Late 2002 and in so doing sold all his shares to Dr. Glenn Ferguson. The decision was then made to move all aspects of manufacturing and distribution to one centralised location in Johannesburg.
Today W.Last is located at 40 True North Road, Mulbarton, Johannesburg. As well as manufacturing and distributing it own products, distributing other local as well as international companies products, W.Last now has a contract manufacturing facility and is mainly regarded as a developmental manufacture, formulating and manufacturing for the greater community.