Leading Makers of Cough Medicine Applaud Congressional Effort to Raise Awareness on Medicine Abuse

Congressional hearing supports association's call to action to address abuse

Washington, D.C. (March 12, 2008)—Today, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs and the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control held a joint hearing entitled "Generation Rx: The Abuse of Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs." Following is a statement by Linda A. Suydam, D.P.A., president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), lending support to Congress’ most recent effort to explore ways to effectively address medicine abuse:

"CHPA and its member companies take very seriously our obligation to educate and raise awareness among consumers, parents, community leaders, and policymakers about medicine abuse. On behalf of the leading makers of cough medicine, we have reached 100 million people across the country through our educational programming and are continuing these efforts through our partners at key organizations such as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, and D.A.R.E. America.

"In addition to our long-term commitment to education and awareness, CHPA supports federal legislation that would ensure that raw, unfinished dextromethorphan—the active ingredient in cough medicine—does not fall into the wrong hands, and that minors under the age of 18 are not allowed to purchase cough medicine.

"While national sales restrictions and preventing the raw dextromethorphan from falling into the wrong hands would serve as major steps forward in reducing abuse, education remains paramount. Our ultimate goal is to raise awareness about medicine abuse among parents and encourage them to talk to their kids so we can put a stop to this abuse."

Editor's Note: A copy of CHPA’s submitted testimony is attached. Additionally, details on campaign initiatives can be found at www.StopMedicineAbuse.org.

Contact: Elizabeth Funderburk, 202.429.9260 (w) or 202.256.5677 (m)

CHPA is the 127-year-old trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements.