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Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Boston, Oct. 1, 1896. To the Honorable ROGER WOLCOTT,
Acting Governor of the Commonwealth. SIR :-- In submitting to your Honor this, the eleventh annual report, from the Board of Registration in Pharmacy, we present briefly such facts and data as will exhibit the work of the Board. If fuller details are desired they will be furnished from the records of the office.
The efforts made by the Board in 1895 to carry out the intent and purpose of the law of 1894, relating to the granting of liquor certificates to druggists, the suggestions and requests in our last report for such changes in the law as would make the intent and purpose more definite and effective, caused much discussion by the press and the Legislature from January to May, 1896. In view of the very general depression of business, the misunderstanding and at times malicious misrepresentation of the efforts of the Board were most unfortunate, and may prove in their results a loss rather than a gain to reputable pharmacy. While there has been progress in the educational and skilful conduct of drug stores as a class, and every city and many towns have what may be considered a strictly reputable and absolutely reliable pharmacy, there are also many so-called drug stores that are unreliable, hazardous, a source of much that is evil, demoralizing, and a menace in any community. Many stores of this class were, and some are now, owned and controlled by ex-saloon keepers and others who employ a registered pharmacist who has an interest on paper only, or at best a nominal investment, thereby largely increasing the number of drug stores beyond any legitimate demand, and in too many cases forcing a resort to illegitimate pharmacy.
The sale of domestic and proprietary medicines, harmless, useless and poisonous, by grocers, dry goods, fancy goods, department and other stores, is also a hindrance, as they are allowed to dispose of their goods, poisonous and otherwise, without the restraint imposed upon a registered pharmacist. These conditions are formidable and serious and prevent the progress of reliable pharmacy and the protection of the public. The dispensing of drugs, medicines, chemicals, pharmaceutical preparations and very many of the so-called domestic remedies, outside of drug stores, simply and heedlessly as they would sell a paper of pins or a roll of tape, may be a convenience, but is of necessity a hazard to the people, a wrong to the educated pharmacist, a fraud upon honorable responsible and protecting lines of public service, and oftentimes a serious injury as well as a loss of time and money to the unsuspecting purchaser, who is led to believe a pill is a pill, a medicine of any kind is the best of its kind and exactly what is required. If
If it were possible to confine the sale of drugs, medicines, chemicals and poisons entirely to the registered pharmacist, as in some countries and several of the States, prohibiting the peddling from house to house and the indiscriminate vending of the worse than useless nostrums, a great public good would be accomplished, and progress in pharmwy would rapidly assume a higher plane of safety and service. During the past ten years there have been such changes in the art of manufacturing and dispensing, in methods of administration of medicines and in surgical appliances, that the reputable family drug store is required to carry a much larger and more varied stock than ever before. To meet the demands for the many new and constantly increasing developments of science and pharmacy requires closer attention and a much higher grade of pharmaceutical intelligence and skill, that errors may be avoided by the detection and rejection of remedies made worthless by time, exposure or chemical change, involving a larger investment, very much smaller margins and a greatly increased expense account.
During the year closing Oct. 1, 1896, 42 meetings of the Board have been held, for the examination of 575 applicants for certificates of registration in pharmacy, as follows:
During the year, of the 110 who received certificates,
As exhibiting the reason of so few passing the Board, we present the age and rating of 5 applicants. We require 200 out of a possible 300 :
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Age, 23 ; oral, 40; written, 23 ; drugs, 45; tot:1, 108.
37; 35; 35;
40; 40; 00; 40;
25; 40; 15;
36 ; 165 ;
As compared with the above, we give a rating made at this same examination,
Oral, 70; written, 78; drugs, 80; total, 228,
plainly showing how many, totally unprepared, would, if permitted, open drug stores.
That pharmacy is still considered by many applicants for registration simply a business of buying and selling drugs, attended by no personal obligation or hazard, requiring little if any study or practical experience, is clearly shown by the following answers, made to simple questions, which are given verbatim :
- Blue Mass is made with conserve of roses and mild chloride of mercury."
· Hydrarg. cum Cretae is mild chloride of mercury and chalk,” and not until the applicant was shown the United States Pharmacopæia would he admit his error.
• The official drug obtained from the hog is lard, and is done by heating the abdomen."
“ Cocaine is from the same tree we get 01. Theobroma from."
“Lactic acid is from lemons and limes." Reflecting a moment, said, “I think it is an animal acid ; don't know what animal.”
One applicant, twenty-four years old, claiming four and one-half years of experience, received a rating of 581 out of a possible 300, calling aromatic spirits of ammonia “ hair oil," and Dover's powder “ pipe clay.”
“ Ejusdem means infusion."
“Camphor gum is obtained by distilling the oil which runs from the camphor tree,” and “ opium by distilling poppy heads.”
Cocaine, cocoa butter and cocoanut oil, all come from the seed of the same plant."
“Oleic acid is something from the animal kingdom.” Could not explain the difference between analysis and synthesis.
“ Jalap is an oleo resin."