Sunday, October 16, 2011

1906- Times a Changing


Thomas D. McElhenie, pharmacist, DeKalb avenue and Ryerson street, Brooklyn, sends the following "open letter" to the Era for publication:

Brooklyn, N. Y., March 7, 1906.

To the National Formulary Committee of the American Pharmaceutical Association:

As our association is moving bravely on In the matter of anti-narcotic legislation, to he consistent and worthy, the National Formulary should drop morphia from the formula for compound syrup of white [line.

As an old member and a member of N. A. R. b. Council, I ask that this be done. Very truly,

Thos. D. Mcelhenie.


Editor The Pharmaceutical Era:

I hear that sales of cigars by druggists have been falling off lately on account of the United Cigar Stores Company's competition. • According to cigar salesmen the retail druggists have experienced a material loss of trade In this section. What Is the difference of druggists in other sections of the country? Chicago, March 10. H. A.


Editor The Pharmaceutical Era:

Having read your editorial on "The attacks on Patent Medicines" It occurs to me that possibly the consideration of the matter by the Connecticut Legislature of 1905 would be Interesting to your readers. The bill was before the committee on "Public Health and Safety" requi»ing formula? to be printed on the wrappers and labels of all patent medicines. The writer suggested to the chairman of this committee, Senator EH Whitney of New Haven, a substitute which he favored to such an extent that he asked him to present this suggestion to the committee in the form of a letter, as, In case it might be found necessary to enact any legislation at all, It might be useful. As a matter of fact the legislature did not adopt any such legislation but as It is likely to come up again and is likely to come up continually I take the liberty of appending herewith a copy of the letter which Is as follows:

(Copy of Letter to Chairman of Committee on Public Health and Safety of the Conn. Legislature of 1905.)

"After careful consideration of the bill requiring labels indicating contents, to be placed on patent medicines, It has occurred to me that a good substitute would be a law requiring a state chemist or experimental station to analyze any secret medicinal preparation, upon the request of any three reputable citizens and publish and record the results of such analysis. These records to become public property and a copy lodged on file with the town clerk of each town. The medicine to be analyzed to be purchased

time analyses of all the prominent proprietary, medicines would be a matter of public record and as soon as any new one came Into prominence the Medical Society or the temperance ■ society would have a legal means of placing that also on record. No one would then be of necessity Hrnorant of the contents of any proprietary medicine he might be using, and we would obviate the manifest injustice to hundreds of druggists which the present proposed bill contemplates.

"All of these druggists have stocks of patent medicines bought in good faith, some of which may not be sold for several years, which they could not label according to law, and which consequently mii6t become a dead loss to them."

Thanking you for your attention In the matter and hoping the suggestion may be of Interest, I remain, yours respectfully, Charles W. Whittlesey.


Editor The Pharmaceutical Era:

The Sentinel of this city contains the following item which I hope you will reprint as It has' a bearing on your editorial on "Attacks on Proprietary Medicines":

"A local druggUt, speaking of the bill now before the legislature, providing that all so-called proprietary or patent medicines be labeled to show how much alcohol or drugs Is contained therein, characterized the bill as nothing less than a

bit of attempted class legislation. It is a bill, he said, in favor of the doctors and against the druggists. It was started by the doctors, has been shoved along by them and has their full support.

"The passage of such a bill would drive everyone to a doctor Just as soon as they felt a bit ill, and consequently would Increase their trade greatly at the expense of the druggists.

"Supporting his statements further, the Sentinel's Informant said that many of the printed stories of deaths due to use of patent medicines were frauds. One paper gave a list of 35 such cases. Upon Investigation It was found that the names and addresses of 17 of them were false and that no such persons ever lived, to say nothing of having died."

Those are my sentiments.


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