J. C. Ayer Company to
Lowell, Mass., December 15,
Sir: We beg to acknowledge the receipt of
your favor of the 13th instant, advising that before the
Department’s instructions of the 23d ultimo reached the United
States chargé d’affaires at Lisbon the Portuguese authorities had,
according to the chargé’s statement, refused a market for our
medicines. We are in receipt of advices to the same effect from our
We have to thank you most sincerely for your many kindnesses in this
matter, and trust you will pardon us if we trespass on your
attention a little further as follows:
Our preparations affected by this arbitrary decision of the
Portuguese authorities are Ayer’s Cherry Pectoral and Ayer’s
Sarsaparilla. These medicines have been, sold in Portugal for fully
thirty years. During this time a large demand has been created, the
medicines having been recommended by a large number of Portuguese
physicians and medical men, and they have gained considerable
acceptance among the Portuguese people. It is, therefore, a serious
blow to our business in Portugal to have these goods shut out of the
market there at this late date.
Our resident agents at Oporto, Messrs. James Cassels & Co.,
inform us that the reason given by the council of health for
refusing their approval of Ayer’s Cherry Pectoral and Ayer’s
Sarsaparilla is that they are secret medicines. This is not true.
The formulas are always available to the members of the medical
profession, to whom same are freely sent on application. Messrs.
James Cassels & Co. further report to us that in November, 1899,
“Dr. Williams’s Pink Pills,” a British preparation, was not approved
of by the council of health of Lisbon, but the British minister
requested that it should be approved of, and the Portuguese
Government ordered the council of health to reconsider their
decision, with the result that “Dr. Williams’s Pink Pills” received
approval, although the formula is actually kept a secret.
Messrs. Cassels & Co. say that if the United States minister at
Lisbon were politely, but firmly, to request the Portuguese
Government to approve of our medicines, stating the fact of their
having been sold for so many years in Portugal, and of their being
recommended by a large number of Portuguese medical men, and that
our medicines are not secret medicines, the formulas being supplied
to medical men on application therefor, then, even now, it is
probable that the Portuguese Government would ask the council of
health to reconsider their decision.
If we may trespass on your kindness to this extent we shall esteem it
a great favor; and hoping that you will instruct our minister at
Lisbon in accordance with the above,
We have, etc.,
J. C. Ayer Company.