Review of the Drug Market**Read before Section on Commercial Interests, A. Ph. A., New York meeting, 1919

Harry B. French
1919 The Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association (1912)  
The Armistice, in the latter part of 1918, brought the war to a sudden, unexpected and very favorable conclusion. The business community was for some time thereafter a t sea as to the immediate and more remote effects of the cessation of hostilities. All except necessary buying temporarily ceased and, for a time, there was an important reaction in prices. As time passed on, the situation was complicated by the political and economical agitation pursued by the so-called labor classes in Europe,
more » ... classes in Europe, both of the Central Empires and in the Allied Nations. Over a large portion of the continent there was an indisposition to work caused by the reaction from the excitement of war, the idleness in which a large portion of the populatim had lived for a long time past, and in certain portions, because of the mal-nutrition of the people. These conditions ga.ve rise to fantastic and Utopian claims that demoralized the efforts at reconstruction. This condition was accentuated by a lack of supplies of raw material in large sections of the territory, which made the resumption of work impossible. The reflex influence of the war and of the theories propounded abroad have had their effect in this country, but we may confidently rely upon the sober second thought of the American people to insist upon a readjustment that will take into consideration the interests of all parties, especially of the public, in the readjustment of industrial conditions. After a few months had passed, it was found that the immediate necessities of foreign buyers were so great and the demands for shipments both of food and manufactured products were so large, that industry resumed not only its normal course but it is now operating at the highest tension. This condition will continue so long as this foreign demand continues and the buyers are able to pay for shipments. The English Pound recently sold in this country at $4. 1z1/2 against a normal price of $4.80, and it is quite generally believed that the price will go lower. This means that on all purchases the buyer must pay about twenty percent advance in price. The exchange of other countries is even more demoralized. It is possible that foreign nations are not unwilling that this decline should take place, so that their nationals may be forced to restrict their purchasing. Thoughtful men of experience know that the present condition can be remedied only by efficiency, that is, increased productiveness on the part of individual workers, and economy, that is, the purchase of only so much as may be necessary for comfortable living. This truth is appreciated only in part by labor in the United States. The demand for shorter hours, and in some cases for work five days only a week, and the tendency in some directions to slackness in work, has perhaps a more potential influence upon advancing prices than increased cost of labor. In other words, if the increased cost of labor secured efficiency there would be much more pirobability of the present scale of wages being maintained for a much longer time in the future. There is much talk of profiteering, but much of this so-called profiteering is made necessary by the increased cost of operation. It must always be remem-In this respect, however, the condition is becoming critical.
doi:10.1002/jps.3080081021 fatcat:cjo547hopvaudp6a2mekugpjye