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months ago; leather goods are in the same boat, and rubber articles have fared just as badly.
If the war lasts another year and the British blockade remains as effective as it has been in the past there is no telling how many more lines besides the druggist's will be badly affected, and no doubt many items will be unobtainable at any price.
Right now there is no importation of drugs possible, and stocks of veronal, euquinine, antipyrin, salipyrine, and ichthyol are almost exhausted. There is no gelatin or camel-hair pencils to be had in the market. The manufacturers have been unable to furnish any blue or green dyes since last October, and they cannot tell when they will be able to supply the trade with those much-wanted colors again.
In six months from now the writer will again report whatever there is of special interest concerning price advances or declines in the field of drugs and allied products.
the official formula (of the U. S. P. VIII.) is used the discoloration almost invariably takes place no matter how carefully the syrup may have been prepared.
To overcome the difficulty I use only onehalf of the amount of diluted hypophosphorous acid directed by the Pharmacopæia. I have followed this method for nearly a year without ever once having the preparation discolor. Where the full amount of acid is used it is my belief that partial caramelization of the sugar takes place.
EMIL REYER. South Bend, Indiana.
(NOTE BY THE EDITORS.—In the formula which appears in the recently issued U. S. P. IX. the tendency to caramelization is lessened by cutting the amount of syrup from 600 grammes to 575 grammes. The presence of all the acid is essential to prevent decomposition of the ferrous iodide.]
A letter similar to the foregoing is published every six months, and not only does it keep the public posted as to the market prices of drugs and merchandise, but it also helps every Houston druggist, who has to explain the reasons for the higher prices in so many articles in his store.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? To the Editors:
Legitimate profit—is there such a thing, and if there is, what is it? The question has often arisen in my mind as to how far a druggist has a right to go in the matter of profit. Many a man sizes up his customer and states the price accordingly; many a man lies about the cost of an article to prove that he is selling it at a low figure; many a man takes advantage of the situation of non-competition and puts it on
COMPOUNDING_BAD AND GOOD. To the Editors:
It is the contention of some critics of our profession that modern prescription filling consists in simply counting out pills or pouring a liquid from one bottle to another. To demonstrate that such a contention is without foundation I wish to submit a prescription (!) which was brought to us for compounding not long since. Here is the prescription: Gin
................. 1 pint. Dandelion .....
1 ounce Beaucue (buchu)
...1/2 ounce. Take two or three large onions, cut fine, put them in a bowl, and pour on them the above mixture.
Directions: Take 3 or 4 spoonfuls in half a glass of water with a little sugar three times a day. When the onions are gone add more.
It's surely a wide gap that separates such combinations from ready-made pharmaceuticals!
However, not all our prescription problems are of that nature, and for the benefit of BulLETIN readers who have encountered the same difficulty I wish to state how I prevent syrup of ferrous iodide from turning yellow. When
A Missouri Druggist. Ed. Mesplay, Granby, Missouri. Mr. Mesplay and Dr. H. L.
Wilbur comprise the Granby Drug Company.
please in some medison for clinfinīsy.
habergol Yo the house
hard on everything he can; many a man poses
NO HUMOR FOR HIM. as a friend of the people by cutting the price- To the Editors: marked goods and then soaking it to the inno
no- If the enclosed note is considered worth
If the end cent ones on prescriptions!
while, by all means publish it in your “Fun To-day there are twice as many drug stores in the "country as are needed, and many of. : 1 them piece out a miserable existence by trying to get high prices on things they find a customer ignorant about.
I know a town of moderate size that has fifteen drug stores within three blocks of one another—when three, or even two, would be amply sufficient.
I know of another town of 1100 or 1200 people that has four or five drug stores. Yes, I know of a town of not over 500 inhabitants that has four drug stores.
a camining The United States has taken upon itself the task of curbing the larger organizations, when
curs they try to make too much money. Why shouldn't the authorities do the same thing with the smaller institutions? And would it Corner.” It may provoke a smile or two, not be just as well, while the United States is
although I am quite ready to believe that our at it, to permit each State to regulate the num
friend failed to see the humor in it. ber of drug stores in a community, thus pre Greytown, New Zealand.
H. V. HALSE. venting the existence of stores whose stocks are old and inert, and preventing the proprie
ONE FROM AUSTRALIA. tors of ill-provided pharmacies from resorting to to all sorts of underhanded practices to get I often read in the BULLETIN with a great · The big curse to-day of this country is too
deal of pleasure and amusement some mes
sages sent to druggists. I enclose a slip (the many drug stores. How can the matter be
original) which I received a day or so ago. mended ?
What the lady wanted and what I sent her I am against the price-protection plan entirely, simply because the result would be only
, У се to bring into existence more stores to eat up a
Spuits reasonable profit for any one of them.
Ehemiat to mix San Again, what is the use of raising our
zo s dead poisow requirements for admission to the practice of
was ammonia, laudanum, and spts, methyl, of pharmacy, when it is a fact that each day
each, 1 ounce. brings the druggist nearer the time when
I may add that I consider the BULLETIN an his knowledge will be useless? Assayed
asset to my pharmacy, as from time to time I tinctures and fluidextracts, serums, antitoxins,
get valuable information from its pages. proprietary preparations, specialty houses for
P. PEOPLES, JR. furnishing the physicians with compounded
Harden, N. S. W., Australia. prescriptions—all these are working together to put the druggist on a par with the grocery clerk.
I am enjoying your BULLETIN OF PHARIn general, what do you think?
MACY immensely. The only trouble is it does Writing paper is so high now that I will not come often enough. We can't get too close before having to use another sheet much of a good thing. Henry F. ALLF. Meridian, Miss.
Geo. W. STAPLE. Covington, Ky.
which cane sugar was put into a husband's urine under the mistaken idea that it was the same as dextrose. It is alleged that the wife desired a trip to Europe in order to take her husband to Carlsbad. This was before the war, of course.
A sample should be fresh in order to avoid changes in the detritus due to the osmotic action. If fresh samples cannot be obtained, they must be preserved, as decomposition occurs so readily and is so destructive. For general use, the preservative likely to give most satisfactory results is thymol, but this, like all other preservatives, has its objections. Cold storage is not always advisable, particularly with concentrated urines that precipitate sodium urate granules.
For general results, a sample before retiring and one on rising give a simple method for obtaining a fair index of the patient's condition. Separate analyses are advisable, but analysis of a mixture of the two is good. This has the advantage of indicating the condition after a day's work and after complete rest. The time of sampling is most convenient and the psychological effect is at a minimum.
The importance of correct sampling and the avoidance of errors due to changes, whether natural or artificial, cannot be overestimated. Judgment and simple observation, coupled with frank and tactful statements, may save years of valuable life.
Two Seasonable Preparations.
Here are two formulas, taken from a list proposed for inclusion in the A. Ph. A. Recipe Book, that will enable druggists to make preparations particularly in demand at this time of the year:
What constitutes a sample of urine and how such a specimen should be taken are set forth interestingly in an article by John A. Steffens which appeared in the February issue of the Alumni Journal of the Columbia University College of Pharmacy.
According to Doctor Steffens, sampling of urine de pends upon the object to be achieved, namely, the insight into general bodily conditions, the functioning of the kidney, the condition of the urinary tract and its bacterial flora. The physician often desires only a report on the bacteria present or absent, but most often combines the first three and neglects the latter.
In general, a sample of urine should be the secretion and detritus of the urinary tract from the kidney to the mouth of the urethra, unmodified in any way, taken under known conditions of diet, medication, bodily exercise, and nervous condition. Since diet, medication, hodily exercise, and nervous condition may not be known, and as all samples contain more or less foreign matter, allowance should be made in the interpretation of analyses. Some physicians make too many allow ances, others take every result as absolutely representative. In all cases judgment should be exercised.
Some rather rigidly moral males and females receive a shock when ordered to prepare a sample of urine, and following the nervous shock the kidney behaves abnormally, either secreting more copiously or causing a retention of the urine. Others try to make conditions as favorable as possible for a clean bill of health by sudden regulation of habits, purging, and copious drinking of water. Some people seem to require "spirituous" consolation. Thus the nervous state of the patient and resultant acts may completely change the nature of the urinary indications.
Bodily exercises and excessive sweating, especially when the patient is not used to that state, may create a temporary state of urinary excretion which is abnormal. Diet may similarly falsify a result, as in the case of a girl who had only recently been hired in a candy shop, and showed a few per cent of sugar due to overindulgence in sweets.
Foreign matter in the form of accidental additions may vary from pieces of shirt to caterpillars. An annoying and common form of foreign matter in the urine of women is vaginal detritus, which should be removed loy douching before the sample is taken. Foreign mattcr often vitiates the microscopical examination.
Containers for urine need some consideration. They should be washed and a minimum of water left in them. The kinds of containers that are chosen are various. Women usually have an empty perfume bottle ; men frequently find the whisky flask convenient. Old medicine bottles, milk bottles, pint cans, thermos bottles, gallon cider jugs and preserve jars have been pressed into service. Of course, the form of container has no effect upon results, but previous contents may. A maple syrup bottle once caused a careless patient to do some worrying over his supposed diabetes.
Cases of falsification of samples vary from the unconscious to the criminal. An instance occurred in
WHITE SHOE DRESSING.
....16 grammes. Zinc Oxide ...
.......64 grammes. Talc ......
.....96 grammes. Water .........
............100 mils. Triturate the powders until thoroughly mixed, and grad. tally add, with constant trituration, the water. Strain through wetied muslin with expression, and lastly, add the phenol. A most excellent dressing for canvas shoes.
FIRE-PROOFING SOLUTION FOR FABRICS.
..1000 mils. This formula was presented by the Director of the Municipal Laboratory in Paris to the Commission on Theatres.
The solution may be painted on the fabrics, or the material may be soaked in the solution and then dried either by exposure to the air or by means of hot irons. The advantages of this solution are cheapness, easy application, and non-alteration of the material.
The fire-proofing action of the mixture is not due to the generation of an inert gas, but to the low fusing point of the chemicals, which form a layer or "glaze," which protects the fabric.
A Substitute for Rubber Stoppers.
If no rubber stoppers are on hand, says a writer in the Pacific Pharmacist, one may be improvised by placing a piece of gutta-percha tissue over the neck of the bottle and inserting the cork with that as a covering.
Unusually Good Cards.
C. H. Reynolds, Warren, Pennsylvania, makes good use of show-cards. We are reproducing three specimens of his work, the first and third being on white cardboard, and the second one being on gray board, with a tooth-brush tied in place by red ribbon. In the upper left corner of the "Magazine" card a fire
class maker are sufficient to feature, with, perhaps, the specialties of other makers, providing the demand is created by personal call and not by free goods or special inducements.
This case should be large enough so that in the bottom of it can be kept small bottles, 1/2 drachms, 42 ounce, l-ounce and 2-ounce capacity, cleaned, corked and labeled in blank, but not filled until the sale. When a perfume is called for it can be poured directly from the bulk bottle, thus avoiding the use of the graduate commonly taken for all perfumes. The name of the odor should then be written on the label. Dregs from an old bottle should never be poured into a freshly opened one-a common cause of deterioration in bulk extracts. .
In showing the goods to a customer, find out, if possible, what the customer wants. If a rose, show him a rose, either from the point of the stopper with the spirit evaporated, a bit of clean absorbent cotton, or thin rice paper. Clean cigarette papers are good. Never show the perfume by placing on the hand, especially if you wish to show another odor. If the customer has no choice, then it is up to you to show him, by a similar method, some perfume that he knows has been successful. One must also have enthusiasm to sell perfumes, and the better the goods, the most lasting the result. Having made the sale, deliver the goods in as neat a package as you can, to convey all along the line all the artistic effect possible.
Mr. Hall's experience of over thirty years leads him to believe that synthetic odors, or a poor line, do not begin to have the power as a trade-holder that the natural floral odors do. The synthetic, in a relatively short time, undergoes a change, even to the breaking-up point, while the natural, especially if kept under proper conditions, holds for a long time, with but little change, in the bulk goods. A familiar example is solution of vanillin and tincture of vanilla. The former goes back, while the latter improves with age.
The druggist who intends to make a success of the perfume business should, after having wisely selected a good line of natural odors, protect them as well as possible from heat and light and from the accumulation of dust and dirt, asserted William A. Hall in a paper read before the A. Ph. A. The stoppers and necks of open bulk extracts should be given frequent and thorough cleanings. It is desirable to have an enclosed wall case, protected from too strong a light, where all opened bulk extracts can be kept. Not too large a line should be carried—ten or twelve of the best odors of a first
Stationery. Pays Good Profits.
A good side-line must not only help to bring customers into the store—though this is one of its valuable functions—but must also show a profit of its own when its fair share of the store expense has beer. properly charged against it.
Stationery is a side-line that qualifies under both these counts, if the department is handled properly, says the Western Druggist. It is a side-line, also, that calls for no special knowledge or training and that sells the whole year round. Here, in only a few sentences, is the experience of one small-town store told in the proprietor's own words:
"After talking with an expert we decided to invest about $250 in our stationery department, and not knowing anything about the business, we left the selection of the papers and the stocking up to him.
“We first introduced the new department to the public by sending out a well-written form letter and by making an appropriate window disply. This gave it the first impulse; others followed by advertising in the local dailies.
“We soon learned which papers were the most popular sellers, and reordered from time to time as the stock was depleted. It was not long before we had our stationery department well in hand and were making it a profitable side-line which did not require much of an investment nor much space.
"Visiting and social cards, Christmas greeting cards, pound papers, and special labeled packages and envelopes, all help to make the department complete and interesting to the customers.
“About one-third of our stationery sales were made during the holiday season. Books showing sample greeting cards or special greetings, as desired, can be obtained from several of the paper companies, and these help to stimulate interest and make sales.”
The silent salesman idea is carried out on one of our ordinary counters, by having a glass-topped case which sets on the counter. It is divided into a number of compartments and bulk goods shown in each.
For making notes and taking down orders of customers, clerks were previously in the habit of tearing pieces of wrapping paper off the roll. Sometimes, not often, but frequently enough-these got mixed up with scrap paper and lost, so we decided to provide regulation pads of good quality paper for this purpose. They only cost a small amount, guard against mistakes, and give an improved appearance.
We provide chairs for the convenience of customers giving their orders, because we know that the woman who feels comfortable and at home is likely to be in a better purchasing mood.
We follow the practice of getting everything cleaned up and in shape the first thing in the morning, so that we will be ready to give complete attention to customers during the balance of the day.
Manufacturers' circulars have our name stamped on them and are sent out with goods. We believe in coöperating with manufacturers to help move goods in which we are both interested.
A Clever Opening Idea.
A department store in the Middle West, says the Spatula, had an opening last fall which was replete with original features that might be adopted by any druggist for a similar occasion.
Souvenirs were distributed to all visitors, as is customary, but the one thing that bristled with individuality, above everything else, was the unique advance announcement that was sent broadcast throughout the city and to the customers in the surrounding country.
It took the form of a large key, made of paste-board, with half-tone design and decorations on each side, a string being run through the opening in the handle and tied. Upon the handle of the key were the words, “This Key Admits You to the Grand Opening of Our New Store, Wednesday, September 22,” while on the part that enters the lock and engages the tumblers was a picture of the new building.
On the opening day many of the visitors came wearing the keys tied to their garments or with the string wound around a button, and through this means a large and appreciative crowd filled the store until closing time.
the stamps would sell for, rather than falling short. This is probably accounted for by the fact that the ordinary man has a slight regard for pennies and won't bother to take out a penny when he throws in a nickel for two stamps.
"We have lost nothing. The box very seldom runs short, for the reason that nine people out of ten are honest and the tenth one is afraid."
Not a bad stunt, in some communities.
Methods that Bring Trade.
A Canadian druggist, writing in the Retail Druggist of Canada, describes some of the ways in which he bids for trade as follows:
Copies of our advertisements are clipped from the local paper and inserted in glass-front frames, which are placed on the counter where customers can easily see them. This not only reminds those who have previously read the ad, but brings current advertisements to the attention of all.
The Need of Local Advertising.
Any "home merchant" who isn't awake, says Business Chat, and who fails to tell the people about his wares should read this startling statement made by the manager of a big Chicago mail-order house - recently: “We have a bureau whose duty it is to read each week the country newspapers. There is not a paper of any consequence in our trade territory we do not get. The bureau looks over these papers, and when we find a town where the merchants do not advertise in the local papers, we immediately food that part of the country with our literature. It always brings results far in excess of the same effort put forth in territory where the local merchants use their local paper."