Declines in OTC abuse
This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet
The National Institute on Drug Abuse's 2008 Monitoring the Future survey of teenage drug use shows a drop in dextromethorpan-containing OTC cough medicine abuse by 8th- and 12th-graders, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association says Dec. 11. CHPA President Linda A. Suydam notes the trade group and OTC cough medicine makers "are engaged in a multi-pronged public health education campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of medicine abuse." CHPA also supports enacting a federal law to bar consumers younger than 18 from purchasing DXM OTCs (1"The Tan Sheet" Nov. 3, 2008, In Brief). The University of Michigan, which conducts the survey, says campaigns against DXM misuse "have proven somewhat successful, though certainly not entirely so.
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Congress "explicitly excluded" dextromethorphan from U.S. controlled substance laws, the Consumer Healthcare Product Association says in its comments to FDA about possible international restrictions on the OTC cough/cold ingredient. CHPA responds Oct. 20 to FDA's Sept. 5 request for comments on formulating a report to the World Health Organization on DXM (1"The Tan Sheet" Sept. 8, 2008, p. 5). The trade group says "there is no practical substitute for [DXM] as a cough suppressant" because among other ingredients on FDA's OTC cough/cold monograph, codeine is a controlled substance, diphenhydramine is more commonly used as an antihistamine and chlopheniadol has not been used "for decades in the U.S." in nonprescription cough medicines. CHPA supports legislation that would restrict sales of bulk DXM and place an age limit of 18 for sales of OTCs with the ingredient