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THE DRUGGIST AND UNFAIR MANUFACTURERS.
Until manufacturers go behind the retail counter, they never will know what a proposition it is, and it sometimes seems that they are out of sympathy with the problems the retailers are up against. It also seems that they do not realize how much more business they could do, if they made a study of the problems that confront the retail druggists. They would then be in a position to know that druggists are not crooks, and should not be advertised as such, and that whatever substitution may be practiced is done purely in self-defense.
Human nature is not so constituted that it will turn the other cheek when one has been slapped, despite the Biblical injunction that this is the proper thing to do. The natural inclination is to fight. If you hit me, I am going to hit back, and take it from me, the druggist who has not the gumption to hit you back is not worth the quarter part of the stamp that goes on a 5-cent item.
The manufacturer may argue that the trouble with the druggists is that they cannot look over the fence and see what they, the manufacturers, are up against. As it happens, I have other interests besides my drug business which place me in a position to view this matter both from the retailer's standpoint and the manufacturer's standpoint, and I have found to my satisfaction and profit that it pays and pays handsomely to handle the proposition from the view-point of the dealer. My experience has demonstrated to me most thoroughly that if I work for the dealer he will gladly do all he can for me. And, after all, is not the success of his customers identical with my own?
AN INSTANCE CITED.
Three years ago this coming April, under the trade name of Sterling Photo Company, I started a developing and printing plant on a big scale, just for amateur work, which in that time has grown so rapidly that to-day we are the third largest consumer of Velox printing paper in the country. My success with this enterprise reads more like a story in fiction than a tale in real life. The first year I ran the plant, three other plants in this city had to give
up business, and a fourth one located in a city near-by moved to another field. Last summer there were employed in this plant thirty-two people who did nothing else but developing and printing. Next summer I expect to have about forty-five.
I lay this whole success to simply one thing: the fact that I have worked out a proposition that was so evidently to the dealers' interests to take up, that of the sixty dealers I solicited when I first opened this plant fifty-six took up the proposition. Since then, without advertising, and no one out soliciting customers, this number has grown to nearly four hundred, and these came in response to a series of form letters I use from time to time, which never fail to produce results.
I, too, have had my experience with prices going up of the materials used in the making of pictures. Not five or ten per cent but hundreds of per cent. Any druggist who does any photographic business at all knows how hydroquinone, metol, pyro, potassium iodide, alum, and practically every chemical used for this work, jumped in price as soon as the war was declared. Hydroquinone, the chemical we use the most of, jumped from 80 cents a pound to $4, and everything else jumped from three to four times as much as we had been paying. Many of my customers wrote in, inquiring whether there was any likelihood of the prices going up, and I could easily have raised my prices 10 per cent and got away with it, as the customers expected a raise. Many finishers did raise their prices. But when I figured out in dollars and cents what the increased cost amounted to, I found that it was only one-half per cent.
Perhaps some of the manufacturers will consider it shows lack of business ability on my part in not taking advantage of this situation, but my profits in this business are ample enough to take care of a loss like this; and, this being the case, I could not for the life of me see why I should pass it on to the retailer, whose profits now are entirely too small to allow for any more reduction. No one knows what a struggle the retail game is, if he has never been in it. It takes years of hard plugging before even a foundation is built in our business, despite the fact that a certain magazine reports exorbitant profits made on prescriptions. Perhaps the manufacturers have the same idea.
This may have been so before my time, but it is not the case to-day.
I can view the whole situation in a broadminded way, because I am now in a position that does not make me depend on my drug business. I could drop out of the drug business and make a better living than I ever did in it, but I have no desire to do this, and probably will be actively engaged in the business as long as I live, because I like it. I think the business gives a man a chance to be useful to his community, and of course every druggist is looked up to as a trifle better than the ordinary run of business men; and it is proper this should be so, because the druggist fills a corner in this world that no one else can fill. I have the deepest sympathy for my brother druggists, and hope the day will never come when I will lose my power of feeling that I am a part of them. -GEORGE I. SCHREIBER in N. A. R. D. Journal.
THE A. PH. A. STAND ON PATENT
The Committee on Proprietary Medicines of the American Pharmaceutical Association rendered its first report at the San Francisco meeting. Among other things it outlined minimum requirements with which, in its judgment, proprietary remedies should comply in order to render them safe for direct sale to the general public.
The following declarations are provisional, and subject to repeal, modification' or expansion, as the commission may later decide:
1. Prescription Fakes, Concealment of Proprietary Character.-The preparation must not be named or advertised in such a way as to conceal its proprietary character and lead the purchaser to believe that it is a simple chemical or vegetable drug ordinarily purchasable in small quantities instead of a proprietary mixture or substance.
2. Methods of Marketing.-The preparation must be one which is regularly offered to the public through the usual trade channelsi.e., through regular wholesale and retail dealers in ready-made medicines, and thus subject to inspection by the authorities charged with the enforcement of state food and drug laws. 3. Alcohol Content.-If the preparation contains alcohol, it must be sufficiently medicated to prevent its use as an intoxicating bev
erage, and in addition to this requirement, the proportion of alcohol present must not be greater than is properly necessary to hold in solution in permanently active condition the essential constituents of the preparation, and to protect the preparation against freezing, fer-. mentation, or other deleterious change.
4. Content of Habit-forming Narcotic Drugs.-If the preparation is one which is capable of being used internally, whether recommended for internal use or not, it must not contain cocaine, nor shall it contain opium or any of its alkaloids or their derivatives, in greater proportions than those specified in Section Six of the Federal Law commonly known as the Harrison Act, and it shall also contain other active drugs in such proportion that the use of the preparation will not be likely to create a drug habit, nor satisfy such a habit when previously existing.
5. Remedies for Children's Use. - If intended for administration to infants or children, the preparation must not contain cocaine, or opium or its alkaloids, or their derivatives, in any proportion whatever.
6. Activity of the Preparation, Cautions Against Misuse.-The preparation must be of such character that it will not be liable to endanger life or health when used in accordance with the accompanying instructions, and if the preparation is one which is liable to occasion injury when improperly used or when used to excess, the accompanying literature must bear instructions tending to guard against such improper or excessive use.
7. Immoral or Illegal Purposes.—The preparation must not be intended for use as an abortifacient nor for use for any other immoral or illegal purpose, nor must it be advertised or recommended either directly or indirectly as an abortifacient or for any immoral or illegal purpose.
8. Incurable and Contagious Diseases.—The preparation must not be advertised or recommended as a cure for diseases or conditions which are generally recognized as incurable by the simple administration of drugs, or for the cure of contagious or acute diseases the treatment of which properly requires the supervision of a qualified medical attendant.
9. Conformity to the Federal Food and Drugs Act.-Neither the label on the package nor any of the accompanying literature shall bear or contain any statement in conflict with
the misbranding provisions of the Federal Food and Drugs Act.
10. Advertising Not Accompanying the Package.-Advertising not accompanying the package shall conform substantially to the statements on the label, carton or in the accompanying circulars as to the origin, composition, or character of the preparation, or concerning its curative or remedial value.
OLD PHARMACEUTICAL TERMS. Words of pharmaceutical or medical import are not very numerous in the new double-section of the "Oxford Dictionary," but there are a few which yield matter of considerable in
Soda is one of these. It is of unknown origin. The alkali was originally obtained from salt-impregnated plants, especially from species of salsola, but whether there is any connection between its name and that of the species does not appear. "Soda" first occurs in English in 1558; in a translation of an alchemical treatise, a hundred years later, it is referred to as "zoza (or soda)." The name sodium is due to Davy, who discovered the metal in 1807. "Soda" is also an old name (now obsolete) for headache, from the Arabic soda, to split, and for heartburn, in which sense it is thought to be connected with "seethe." The first quotation for soda water is under date 1802, which is late.
Soap occurs first in the Saxon Leechbook (1000) as sape; its connection with medicine is thus seen to be of ancient date. It is curious that an earlier date than 1852 was not found for soap liniment, and that among medicated soaps the old jalap, antimonial, and croton oil soaps are not mentioned; perfumed soap first appears in 1704, but must be much older.
Socotrine, as applied to aloes, was formerly spelled cicotrine; it first appears in 1425. The first quotation for snowdrop is from Boyle (1664), but it appears in Johnson's "Gerard" (1633), though Gerard himself calls the flower the bulbous violet; it is not a native of England. Snow, with various qualifying words, was once a name for the white oxide of antimony; it occurs, too, in several plant-names, such as snow-in-harvest, Solomon's Seal, sorghum, sorb, sops-in-wine (the clove pink), and other interesting plant-names are also dealt with in this section.
Solazzi is the name of an Italian maker of liquorice in sticks; its date is 1861. Snuff first occurs in an advertisement of one James Morcock, snuffmaker, in 1683. "Cephalick Water, or Liquid Snuff," follows in 1709. The baby's soother does not appear until 1896!-Chemist and Druggist.
ORIGIN OF THE WORD PHARMACY.
The word "pharmacy" has been a good deal discussed recently, and a somewhat fuller account of this and other words of the group to which it belongs may be interesting. These words are all derived ultimately from the Greek pharmakon, a drug, which Professor Skeat suggests may have come from the Doric form of a verb signifying "to bring (help).” Unfortunately for this suggestion, however, the word appears from the first to have carried a pretty strong suspicion of poison, of sorcery, enchantment, and other black arts.
The earliest date given in the Oxford English Dictionary for any word derived directly from pharmakon is 1541, when R. Copland used "pharmaceutyke" to designate one of “the parties (parts) of the art of Medecyne," and "pharmacopole" for a dealer in drugs. This latter word is now obsolete, but Erasmus Darwin used it in 1790, and in its later form, "pharmacopolist," it is still occasionally met
The English form, "pharmacian," by the way, appears in Blair in 1720, but it did not "catch on." The full form, "pharmaceutical," does not occur until 1648; "pharmaceutist" not until 1836, two years after "pharmacist," the earliest quotation for which is 1834; the first authority for this, much the better form, being Lytton's "Last Days of Pompeii." "Pharmacopoeia" appears first as an English word in Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy" in 1621. Long before any of these words found a recognized place in English, "pharmacy" had been imported from the French by Chaucer ("The Knight's Tale"), in whose "Somme hadden salues and somme hadden charmes, Fermacies of herbes," it still carries a suggestion of magical arts. This meaning of a medicine the word has long lost, but by 1597 it had acquired that of the art of preparing and dispensing medicines, and by 1883 that of a drug store or dispensary, and both of these it still retains. It will be seen that in the last sense it is older than "pharmacist.”—Chemist and Druggist.
TURNING CREDITORS INTO CUSTOMERS. To the Editors:
We are a comparatively new concern here, and in order to firmly establish our credit, all city bills are paid promptly on the tenth of each month. No purchases are paid for when bought, so that on the first of the month we have from one hundred to one hundred and twenty-five bills coming in. When remittances are sent, a card similar to one reproduced herewith and stickers bearing the firm name are enclosed.
We should like to have druggists in dif
The wagon business is a kind of a skin-game affair, anyway. You have got to have your men bonded and then watch them all the time. I found it hard to find bondsmen-so many of them throughout the country have been stung by the different medicine wagon companies. I think the big concerns have made most of their money out of the poor devils who signed bonds for peddlers.
From a financial standpoint I am not out anything, but what I have had to do to keep even with some of my men would fill a book. Taking over real estate, trading horses, and confiscating cows are only a few of the stunts. I have pulled off.
We get quite a few mail orders, which help, and of course we push the line here in the store, and have worked up a nice trade on some of the remedies. However, it seems to me the same amount of energy and money can be made to work better in other ways. And take it from me these same peddlers have to take some mighty hard knocks. Personally I would prefer the trenches.
We all enjoy the BULLETIN. It is certainly a live magazine, and very helpful.
FREDERICK P. SAWYER.
SELLING EXTRACTS IN THE HOME. To the Editors:
A short time ago my records showed that I was doing well if I broke even. It was plainly up to me to make some changes.
I didn't want to let my clerk go, so I began to devise some way by which I could afford to keep him. I first asked him if he had any objection to calling on people at their homes. He said he didn't have.
I then put up some extracts-lemon, vanilla, and so on-in 3-ounce bottles, to sell, for the most part, at 25 cents, and started him out. with them.
Women are careless about buying extracts. They order them from the grocer and take without question anything that is sent. But when all this is pointed out to them and a talk on quality is hammered home, they begin to see where they are making a mistake.
Our town has 5,000 inhabitants, and there was never a day when he went over the city the first time that my man sold less than ten dollars' worth of extracts. One day he sold thirty-eight dollars' worth, but a sale to a
After I received my goods the next thing was to let the public know about it. I made up my mind that a window display would turn the trick to the best advantage.
I first took a flat pan that would hold about three gallons of water, and around this pan I built a plat to look just as much like the bank of a small lake as possible. Then I caught a few minnows and put them into this lake. I also set four or five small poles, fully equipped, on the bank, letting the lines extend into the water.
It was surprising how the people would flock around this window and watch those fish at play in my little lake! The idea was certainly a good one, not only with respect to fishing tackle, but I sold other things that I would not have sold if I had not got the public interested.
I am fixing to put in a larger line next summer than I carried last year, and I shall have to figure how to advertise it again. thing is sure: I shall have another artificial lake in my window. C. R. PIKE.
Reckoning 50 cents as a compounding fee, and adding a profit on the cost of 50 per cent ($1.55), makes $5.15 a legitimate charge.
The prescription on which an Arkansas druggist made a price of $1.25, but which the customer claimed to have had filled for 50 cents, should bring the $1.25 price according to the system I follow.
The price is arrived at in this way:
Iodoform .....3 drachms @ $.40 per ounce $0.17
Chlor. Mit....3 ounces @ 1.80 per pound
Adding to this a compounding fee of 25 cents and a profit of 100 per cent (51 cents) gives $1.27 as a fair charge for the mixture. GEORGE H. BENTON. Denver, Colo.
AN ARTIFICIAL LAKE IN THE WINDOW. To the Editors:
About a year and a half ago I decided to put in a full line of fishing tackle; so I looked around to see what the other stores had and what they did not have. I then put in a line as much different as I could.