May 20, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)


Robert James Manion



In order to clear up the point, I may say a word as one who has practised medicine for quite a few years. The vast majority of druggists or pharmacists buy their medicines ready made up. I am speaking more especially of druggists and pharmacists in Ontario and the West. They buy their tinctures and elixirs, as mentioned by my hon. friend from Hull (Mr. Fontaine), ready made up from the large manufacturing chemists, such as Wampoles, Parke Davis, and various other firms. So that in a great number of cases, particularly in Ontario and the West, the druggist does not compound his own elixirs or tinctures, because the manufacturing chemist can make these preparations much better and more cheaply, and in a more palatable form than can the druggist. Regarding the doctors who prepare their own prescriptions and dispense them, as stated by my hon. friend from Inverness (Mr. Chisholm), there are a few who will be touched to a certain extent in this respect, but I think that even my hon. friend from Inverness will admit that for most of his medicines he imports his tinctures and elixirs ready prepared. I think I am correct in that. The hon. member signifies his concurrence in the statement. Most doctors in the cities do not dispense their own medicines, but my hon. friend and others who do so, import their own elixirs and tinctures ready prepared, so that these. preparations which go to make up the medicines they would dispense would not be touched. They would not have to pay on them; they escape the tax by buying from the manufacturing chemists. As my hon. friend from Inverness states, there is an occasional case where a_ doctor might wish to give whisky as a stimulant, or might prescribe alcohol for rubbing purposes. That is a case where no doubt those who dispense their own
medicines would be interfered with. And the'same thing applies to druggists selling alcohol for rubbing purposes. I should think it would be a very difficult thing to make a law which would protect the Government and the people against any infractions of it, not so much because the doctors or the druggists would seek to break the law, but because, as occurs in the prohibition parts of the province from which I come, men are continually coming and asking for a bottle of alcohol. Foreigners particularly come and ask for a quart of alcohol, and when they are asked for what purpose the liquor is wanted, they say it is for rheumatism, for rubbing the joints, and so forth. As a matter of fact, before prohibition came into force, I cannot recall any foreigners coming and asking for a prescription for a quart of alcohol for rubbing purposes.

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