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PHARMACY IN THE PHILIPPINES.
Interesting Description of the Filipino Druggist, His Stock, and His Methods — The Inferior Practice of Both Pharmacy and Medicine—Opportunity Presented for American
Pharmacists and Physicians.
American and other druggists and chemists will some people with medicines of any sort. There are several day enrich themselves by catering to the enormous trade hundred barrios as well, where the number of people for drugs and chemicals in the Philippine Islands. range from 100 to 500, in which there is as a rule no America will eventually profit most by the opening up semblance of a drug store or any means for furnishing of the Philippines, if Americans take advantage of the medicines to the sick. wonderful opportunities which are now presenting them.
THE STOCK OF THE FILIPINO DRUGGIST. selves in rotation in nearly every line of business in the commercial world. American goods have always been
A stranger in one of the cities, towns, or barrios of the the favorite in the Philippines, for the reason that the islands might go for a long time without finding any Spanish goods are ordinarily inferior in make and de- indications of drug supplies. Those familiar with the ceptive, while the goods from England, Germany, and methods of the dealers in medicines can find these Russia are too costly Japan has a good field of opera venders of drugs in some of the worst sections of the tions in these islands, but the average Filipino despises town, hidden away often in their own homes, without the Chinaman and will not patronize either Japanese or any indication of having medicines for sale, and it is Chinese goods unless compelled to do so. American necessary to rouse the proprietor from other occupations goods, which are usually sold here at prices which are or from sleep in order to make a purchase. On entering not exorbitant, and the goods themselves being reliable one of these medicine stores one will see some bamboo as a rule, are in the best demand, and this demand ex. stands, some boxes, much waste nipa strewn about, some tends to the field of drugs and chemicals. In the plan leaves and roots hung to the walls, and, scattered here of reaching the people of the Philippines for the sale of and there, a few bottles of important medicines, some this line of goods, several questions are essential for in- vials, and that is about all. There are no nicely arranged vestigation. These are: First, the type of drug and shelves containing an assortment of drugs as in America. chemical store at present in existence; description of Possibly five dollars in gold would buy out the complete the market for the goods; some of the best localities outfit of the druggist. These Filipino druggists have no for the distribution of the drugs and chemicals, trans right to be in the business; they not only fail to carry portation, prices, profits, etc.
anything worth having in stock, but they are filthy in
their habits, and, in the event of treating a sick native, TYPE OF DRUG STORE IN THE ISLANDS.
they will use certain utensils in mixing and giving the As to the first consideration referred to, the present drugs, and these utensils are seldom cleaned after using. type of drug and chemical store in the Philippines, these All of the bottles I saw in every drug store outside of are very deficient. In Manila there are several fairly Manila and Iloilo were covered with cobwebs and dust. good drug stores in which a moderate line of drugs and All glasses were overrun with ants. Vermin were in the general medicines are carried, also certain descriptions packages of stuffs, and the sights were enough to make of chemicals for supplying the dye trade and the like. the well sick. All sweepings from the floor, if perchance In Iloilo there are two so-called drug stores in which a the floor is ever swept, are brushed into a corner. The limited stock of drugs and chemicals are carried in each. floor is ordinarily the earth itself and is soaked with the In all of the other large cities of the islands, possibly refuse liquids of years. It would be a good thing for twenty-five to thirty, there are little one-horse shacks in the country if all the drug stores outside of Manila, which the proprietor keeps on hand a few dollars' worth Iloilo, and some of the larger cities and towns were of medicines, nearly all of which are in an advanced stage burned. of deterioration due to the length of time kept in stock in a hot climate or to the defective means for caring for the
THE ILL TREATMENT OF PATIENTS. same. In one instance, for example, I noticed that the The ordinary run of so-called druggists and drug corks in nearly all of the bottles were made of bamboo, clerks of the mountainous sections of the Philippines, and the ants had eaten into the wood and made air- particularly in places where but few white men have ever holes through which air could penetrate and alter the been, often ill-treat patients who come to them for medimedicines.
cines and treatment. I have seen natives ill and huddled Then in the hundreds of towns of the islands, there in a corner of the drug shop in pain and ridiculed by are as a rule no means whatever for furnishing the the owner of the store. In the event of the patient having money in abundance the treatment served is of the pines, and in conversation with them I have learned best, while the common herd must receive only blows that they had received their education and training in and ridicule. I have seen wounded natives brought in Spain. But the number of these men is so limited that from the front after conflicts with the Americans, and it is hardly worth counting them in the long run. For these wounded men are not only poorly treated by the every man that is well trained in medicine and surgery, incompetent medicine men, but they are often abused. there are probably 100 to 200 inferior doctors who have I saw one native soldier brought into a drug store with had no training whatever. There is no effective draina Mauser bullet hole through the thighs of both legs. age in the Philippines, and sanitary methods are such The bullet had passed out and left a clean, small hole, that the results are defective and the consequences as these little steel balls will do. But instead of apply. serious. The death lists are heavy everywhere. Since ing the right treatment, the native surgeons who had the Americans arrived here they have had hundreds of been called in bound up the wounds without removing native laborers at work cutting drains to drain sections the foreign matter, and left the patient in the corner on of thickly populated lands which were never drained the floor. The occupants of the store seemed amused before. Houses and yards have been cleaned out, at his sufferings. Soon an American surgeon of one of streets graded and made more healthful, so that at the the regiments came along. He first kicked all of the present time there is a great improvement in conditions native druggists and doctors out of the place, removed and considerable reduction in death - rates all through the defective bandaging of the ill-trained natives, cleaned the islands. But the lack of trained surgeons and the out the wounds, and proceeded in the proper way to fit deficiency of the proper medicines make it impossible his patient for transportation to the hospital.
to carry the good work to its end. I have seen women with slight pains or injuries come into these native drug stores for medicines which if pro
LACK OF DRUGS SERIOUS. vided would bring relief promptly. But as a rule the medicines are not to be had, and if they were the pro. There will be no permanent improvement in the prietor would not deal them out unless he were sure that health conditions of these islands until more drugs are the sick woman possessed sufficient money to pay for shipped here for the treatment of the sick. There are them at a very great advance on the original price. I cases going on record every day indicating certain have seen medicines which in the United States would
deaths which might have been averted if the proper be dealt out in liberal quantities for a small sum, weighed medicines had been at hand for use in time. The in the balance with silver coin-that is, just as much of
lack of medicines and the negligence of what few surthe inferior brand of excessively adulterated medicines geons there are is disastrous to the people. The fact are weighed on as will evenly balance a 25. or 50-cent that the few trained surgeons are constantly overrun silver piece, whereas the medicine so provided may be
with business, of course makes them negligent of the worth only a few cents. The druggist of the Philippines poorer patients, and it is the latter classes that need the
poorer patients, and it is th who owns a store in the jungle, so to speak, or away treatment the most, for the reason that they are n from the influences of the American garrisons in the cities vided with the comforts of a home, as in the case of the and towns, not only deals out inferior medicines, but he
rich. There are hundreds of thousands of shifting popmakes them go a great ways by diluting them liberally
ulation in the islands, people who go about like gypsies,
ulation in the islands, people who go about with other liquids. I have seen cough medicine bottles and these represent the poorer of the land; when ill, opened here, one bottle of the medicine made into two they must usually die for the want of a few cents' bottles by adding ordinary rain water, and the bottles worth of drugs. Children die in large numbers for lack then corked up and sold at about three times the price
of medicines. In every city and town of the islands, on the label.
many children die annually without having had any
medical attendance whatever. The case often is that DEATH.RATES ARE HIGH.
the people have money, but make no attempt to purUnder the prevailing conditions in which this country chase medicines, for the reason that they are aware that has been for the past two or three hundred years, it none can be obtained of the right kind. The people is not remarkable that the percentage of deaths in all of the islands have never had any medicines in any of the cities, towns, and barrios has been excessive. decent stocks provided, and therefore do not know that The people have never had the proper treatment from such stocks exist as may be seen in American drug surgeons, for the reason that there are very few trained stores. and properly educated surgeons of native birth on the If the average Filipino were to see one of the neat, islands. What few there are usually stay in Manila, well-equipped, modern drug stores of New York City, Iloilo, or other large places, where they have all the he would take it for a palace, and worship it. He is business they can attend to. I am acquainted with used to seeing a few greasy bottles and boxes in filth, several of these experienced surgeons of the Philip- and this is his idea of the model drug store.
EXCELLENT OPENING FOR AMERICAN PHARMACISTS. in a community of this kind, he would handle gold pieces
instead of paper or silver money, and the many excellent Of course, the surgeons of the American forces in the
bargains that would come his way would, in the course islands are doing all they can to help out serious cases
of a year, make him well off. among the natives, and many a native owes his life to
As to prices of drugs and chemicals here in the the medical staff of the U. S. Army. But the surgeons
Philippines, the idea seems always to be to get as much of the regiments are busy with the soldiers, and they are
as possible for everything and be satisfied with the not permitted to consume valuable time or medicines
results. I have known native dealers to start off with a among the natives, unless it be in the event of a native
very high price for an article, and accept a much lower soldier who has been wounded in battle with the troops.
one with satisfaction. The native druggist evidently Therefore, there is a grand chance here for American
sizes up his purchaser and sets the price accordingly. It drug stores. As to the location, Manila is pretty well provided, and so is Iloilo, as two or three drug stores
will be some years before competition becomes so effect
ive as to control prices here, and in the meantime those have been opened in the latter place recently, and all
druggists who open stores can adjust the values in are doing more business than they can possibly handle. It does not appear to matter how much or how often
accordance to the circumstances. . This, of course, will they order supplies from the United States or other
enable one to get on his feet quicker, and avoid failure. countries, they cannot manage to keep any stock on
SIDE DEPARTMENT. hand. They no sooner receive a consignment of drugs
The drug store of the Philippines can be made profitor chemicals, than the entire lot is ordered and purchased, high prices being paid in each case, and the
able in various ways, one of which would consist in the stock is cleared out while one is looking at it. What is
adoption of departments for the sale of chemicals, oils, wanted is a good big lot of the drugs and chemicals, and
brushes, soaps, stationery, paints, and even dyestuffs. not a few batches of the different kinds.
The drug store of the towns in which your correspond
ent visited appeared to be the common center of attracOutside of Manila and Iloilo, there are a large number of flourishing cities, which have been quite Ameri.
tion for the people who wanted anything. There are no canized during the past year by American soldiers, and
postoffices outside of Manila and Iloilo, and in a number
of the drug stores I noticed that they were making quite there are wonderfully good openings in these cities for drug stores. Then there are the towns. The towns are
a goodly income by selling two two-cent stamps for five usually as large as the average American city, for the
cents, and stamped envelopes for three cents each. reason that the towns include the barrios for several
Usually the purchaser of the stamps would want pens
and ink or stationery, and frequently pipes and tobacco. miles distance, on either side.
Then, as to the handling of chemicals and dyes for the THERE ARE GOOD CHANCES
numerous dyers and weavers of fabrics, this is quite a
rich business, as the profits on these lines of goods are for the establishment of stores or branch stores in these
high. towns. There is certainly a good field presented in
THE NATIVE CLERKS. each, and the chances are there will be no competition for many years to come. Then as to the barrios, these Although the present type of native drug clerk is are frequently of sufficient importance to provide with more fitted for a butcher than to handle medicines, he is branch stores on a small scale. They are all through indispensable in the drug trade, and the American who the hills of the Philippine archipelago, and in many would engage in the drug business in these islands will cases a druggist could get rich within the year because find it necessary to have one or more of these men about of the rare metals that the natives handle and use, quite the store to deal with the native customers in their own miscellaneously. In some of these barrios, in the metal language. In course of time, the native language would districts of Panay, I noticed that the natives offered little be picked up, and then there would be no necessity for nuggets of gold and pieces of silver, which they had the services of the native clerk. found in the hills, in exchange for articles of commerce, The native clerks can be hired for 20 cents per day as they possessed no money. I was offered a bolo knife each, and they will provide food and lodgings for them. for a blanket, and accepted the knife as a relic. I sent selves. But they are a shiftless lot, and very careless in the knife home to a friend, and behold, he writes me mixing medicines. They take great delight in mixing that he took it to a jewelry store to be fixed up, and poisons for killing off the crazy, wild-cat dogs of the they there discovered that the metal band at the hilt island that bawl and fight all night, and often will burst was pure gold, worth $30. The natives give little pieces out in laughter in the middle of the process of comof gold to their children to play with and lose. There is pounding the poisonous drugs, at the thought of the no market for the rich metal, and the stuff is useless to agony to which the victim will be subjected.—Correthe natives. If an American were to open a drug store spondence of the Oil, Paint, and Drug Reporter.
The Destructive Creatures which Thrust Themselves on the Pharmacist's Hospitality - Some of the
Ways for Getting Rid of Them.
By W. A. KNIGHT. *
74. Order Hymenon
every retailer locentry (England). athention has been
The preservation of drugs from the attacks of insects 4. Order Hymenoptera (hymen, membrane, and pteron). is a subject to which little or no attention has been This order includes the saw-flies, the gall-flies, ants, bees, shown in this country (England), although doubtless and wasps. every retailer loses a certain amount every year from 5. Order Heteroptera (eteros, other, and pteron). This the depredations of these pests. In attempting to fight comprises the water-fleas and bedbug. The wings are these destructive creatures it is necessary first of all to partly leathery and partly membranous. know the habits and favorite food of the insect. Having 6. Order Orthoptera (orthos, straight, and pteron). acquired this knowledge the pharmacist will then be in These insects have four wings, the anterior pair of which a position to meet its attacks, and I therefore propose are leathery, the posterior pair folding longitudinally to-night to give a short classification of the large class like a fan. The order includes the cockroaches, grassof insects, indicating those which are specially harmful, hoppers, and locusts. and finally giving a few suggestions as to the remedies 7. Order Neuroptera (neuron, nerve, and pteron). This I have found most suitable.
order includes the beautiful dragon-flies and stone-fies. The word insect is derived from two Latin words, in, in, The wings are naked and reticulated with nerves. and secto, I cut, the thorax being almost entirely severed While this classification will be found useful for obfrom the abdomen by a constriction. The word ento- taining the name and relations of the insect, from the mology has a similar meaning, being derived from the pharmacist's point of view the only classification necesGreek en, in, and teneo, I cut.
sary is into harmless and injurious insects. Evidently The group of insects forms one class of the great only those insects which have strong biting mouths can phylum Annulosa, which is distinguished by having a deleteriously affect hard, dry drugs, insects with sucking “metameric segmentation,” or repeated appearance of mouths having a much more restricted baneful effect. similar parts. This segmentation is particularly well To the former category belong the beetles and cockseen in the grub or larval stage of the beetles. roaches, whilst the bugs and moths constitute the suck
A true insect is defined by zoologists as “An articu- ing insects. In some cases, e.g., mites and ants, the lated animal breathing by tracheæ, divided into three mouth is adapted for both biting and sucking, and is distinct portions — i.., head, thorax, and abdomen, hence injurious. passing through a series of transformations, and having in the perfect or winged state six articulated legs and two antennæ.” Although such animals as spiders and centipedes are usually included under insects, the above definition will show that they have no right to the title.
A typical example of an insect is the book louse, a species of Atropos. Insects are divided into several orders, of which the seven following are the most important:
1. Order Coleoptera (Gr. coleos, sheath, and pteron, wing), which comprises the beetles. The wings are
Fig. 1. covered, when not in use, by hard, horny elytra (wing Book Louse, a species
House Moth, Tinea pelionella. cases). They have powerful, biting jaws.
of Atropos. 2. Order Lepidoptera (lepis, scale, and pleron). This
Although in the adult stage these sucking insects are order comprises the butterflies and moths. The wings
harmless, many of them have, in the larval or grub stage, are covered with fine scales. The mouth of these insects biting jaws and are hence injurious. A good example is adapted only for sucking.
is the house - moth, Tinea pelionella (Fig. 2), which is 3. Order Diptera (dis, twice, and pteron). These are quite harmless in the winged stage, but in the grub conthe two-winged Aies, of which the common house-fly is dition has a terrible combination of a tremendous appe. a member.
tite and sharp powerful jaws.
The most serious and common pests of a collection of * Read before the Chemists' Assistants' Association of London; drugs belong to the family Ptinidæ, of the N. 0. Colereprinted from the Pharmaceutical Journal.
optera. They are cylindrical, pubescent insects, and eat
anything and everything. They are responsible for their eggs on the larva of the beetles, and the young worm-eaten furniture and many drugs. I have here a hymenopteron, when formed, lives on its host. specimen of pyrethrum attacked by this pest. The Finally we have the mites (N. 0. Acarina). These commonest member of this family is Sitrodrepa panicea, are minute creatures, with piercing beaks. They have of which both the adult (Fig. 3) and larval (Fig. 4) eight legs, and are therefore not true insects. Many stages are shown. A closely allied insect is Lasioderma, species are found in flour, cheese, sugar, and even canthe ginger beetle, and is often found in ginger (Fig. 5). tharides. The species Glyciphagus spinipes (Fig. 9) is
often found in cantharides.
Another member of the Ptinidæ, Bostrichus sp., at
Fig. 7. tacks sweet almonds.
Lepisma. An allied family, the Cucujida, furnishes a lightbrown, flattened beetle with clubbed antennæ. It belongs to the genus Silvanus (Fig. 6), and is sometimes found in senega root and quince seed. The families Tenebrionidæ and Hesteridæ also have representatives among the pests. Tenebrio obscurus and T.mol tor are dullbrown, Aattish, square - bodied beetles with extremely hard elytra which are not easily pierced with a pin.
Several weevils—Ceutorynchus sp. and Calandra oryza -are also often found in seeds; the latter, as its name implies, infests rice, whilst the former is often found in maw seeds.
The Lepidoptera are represented among the pests only by their larvæ, the adult butterfly or moth being
Fig. 9. harmless. The larvæ of this order have usually eight
Glyciphagus spinipes. pairs of legs, the anterior three being thoracic and the With regard to the remedies which may be applied, posterior pair attached to the last segment of the body, many antiseptics have been proposed. Many of the remwhilst the larvæ of beetles (Fig. 4) have usually only edies are toxic, and are hence almost worse than the disthree pairs of thoracic legs.
ease. The vapor of carbon bisulphide is fatal to insects To this order belongs the moth, the well known grub of in all stages except the egg stage. If the drugs are which causes such serious loss. It belongs to the family placed in a tightly stoppered vessel and a few drops of Tineidæ, but no member of this family is found in drugs. carbon bisulphide sufficient to charge the vessel with
Gelechia cerealella, the grain moth, is another lepi- vapor poured in, any larva or adult beetle will be killed. dopteron, which, in the larval condition, attacks wheat After allowing time for the eggs to develop, the bottle and other kinds of grain.
should be again examined, and if any larvæ are present The N. 0. Diptera is represented by Trypeta arnici. the process should be repeated. vora, sometimes found, as its name implies, in arnica. A One great advantage of carbon bisulphide is its ready wingless insect, Lepisma sp. (Fig. 7), of the N. O. Thy- volatility, an hour or two's exposure being sufficient to sanura, has been found in mezereon bark.
eliminate any trace of its vapor. The N. 0. Hymenoptera is represented by Cynips kol. In conclusion, I have to thank Mr. E, M. Holmes for lari (Fig. 8), often found in galls. This insect, however, several specimens of infected drugs, and my friend and belongs to the group Entomophaga (èvrouos, insect, coworker, Mr. A. Kirkland, for the trouble he has taken payEiv, to eat), and is hence beneficial. They lay in preparing the illustrations.