Selected writings of John M. Scudder.
This editorial announces the beginning of Specific Medicines, tells why they were necessary, and why the labels were copyrighted. In order to aid physicians in obtaining good products Dr. Scudder stood sponsor for the integrity and genuineness of these medicines, and specifically declares that he had no pecuniary interest in them. The labels were copyrighted to insure honest medicines and prevent fraud.—Ed. Gleaner.
GOOD MEDICINES.—I have been discouraged with the ordinary drug trade as a source of physician's supplies. Medicines are made and sold without any regard to their efficiency, but for the money that can be made out of them. As the result of this the practice of medicine is uncertain, and the physician's supplies cost him treble what they should.
When I recommend a remedy for a certain purpose I am speaking of a good preparation; the reader purchases it in the general market, and because it is inferior or worthless he fails to obtain the effect named—and the result is a want of confidence.
One-half of the fluid extracts in the market are almost wholly worthless, and but a small proportion of the other half comes up to the standard, weight for weight. A fluid extract is prepared with heat, when heat destroys the medicinal properties; or it is prepared from the oldest crude stock in the house, that has lost its medicinal value; or it is prepared from the dried article, when it should be prepared from the fresh.
It has been for this reason that I have recommended our physicians to purchase their medicines at first hands of our manufacturers in this city. These houses have a well deserved reputation among Eclectics, which I by no means wish to lessen by the introduction of this new class.
To furnish uniformly good remedies to those who desire to employ them for their specific use we are now revising the process of manufacture of some fifty articles. We propose that these important remedies shall be manufactured with extra care, from fresh and carefuly selected stock, without heat, from the fresh article when required, and of a uniform strength of weight for weight, and at a reasonable price.
These remedies will be designated by a particular label, copyrighted so that it can not be counterfeited, and will have the guarantee of the house manufacturing it.
I have no personal interest in the drug trade, and have other business to engage my capital and time, but the houses that will put remedies up in this style are reliable; they will have samples in my office that can be inspected at any time, and I will give a personal guarantee to any remedy bearing the label.—SCUDDER, Eclectic Medical Journal, 1869.
The Biographies of King, Howe, and Scudder, 1912, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D.