CHPA Praises the U.S. House of Representatives’ Passage of the Dextromethorphan Distribution Act

Urges Senate to follow suit to ensure teens are protected from predators who sell raw dextromethorphan to kids

Washington, D.C. (March 31, 2009)—The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 1259, the “Dextromethorphan Distribution Act.” The measure, introduced earlier this month by U.S. Representatives Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), passed by a vote of 407 to 8.

“This is important legislation that will save lives, kids’ lives, and we urge the U.S. Senate to pass this legislation as well,” said Linda A. Suydam, president of CHPA. The Dextromethorphan Distribution Act would ensure only legitimate entities registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or state agencies could purchase raw dextromethorphan, the active ingredient commonly found in its finished form in many over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines.  The bill would make the sale of this raw ingredient to teens illegal. “There is no good reason for any but manufacturers, pharmacists, and researchers to have the raw form of this ingredient,” Suydam continued. “The companies that sell this potent ingredient to kids are unscrupulous online pushers, knowingly providing teens the raw form of dextromethorphan as a means to get high.”

CHPA represents the nation’s OTC medicine makers and has worked aggressively to prevent teen abuse of dextromethorphan, both in its raw, unfinished form as well as in its finished form as an OTC cough medicine. According to Suydam, “Our approach to this teen substance-abuse problem has been comprehensive. The Dextromethorphan Distribution Act will help address the dangers posed by predators who sell dextromethorphan in its unfinished form directly to teens. But we also are working tirelessly—with partners such as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, and D.A.R.E. America—to provide parents and communities with tools to prevent teen cough medicine abuse.”

Editor’s note: CHPA’s initiatives to stop cough medicine abuse by teens are available at www.StopMedicineAbuse.org

Contact: Mimi Pappas, 202.429.9260


CHPA is the 128-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplement products.