CHPA Offers Interactive ‘Drug Facts’ Medicine Label Resource

Association’s web site now features consumer section

Washington, D.C. (May 15, 2003)—The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) today launched an education campaign to help consumers learn how to correctly use the Drug Facts label on over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. “Just the Facts . . . About Drug Facts” is an interactive, Internet-based program that provides information about each section of the OTC medicine label. At the conclusion of the program, consumers are invited to test their newfound knowledge with a quick quiz.

Drug Facts is the name given to the type of label most OTCs have had since May 15, 2002; almost all will be in the new format by 2005. “The benefit of Drug Facts,” according to CHPA President Linda A. Suydam, D.P.A., “is that it makes medicine labels even easier to read and use. However, as consumer-friendly and comprehensive as Drug Facts labels are, they don’t work unless consumers use them.” CHPA members stress that it’s important to read, understand, and follow medicine labels exactly, each and every time an OTC product is used.

OTC Drug Facts labels tell consumers what medicine they are taking, how much to take, when to take it, when not to take it, when to talk to a healthcare professional, what side effects may happen, and more. This information is listed in exactly the same way, from medicine to medicine, starting with the medication’s active ingredient. “Now, whether you are buying a bottle of heartburn medicine or an acne cream, you will be able to easily find the information you need to make an informed choice at the store and to use the product safely and to its maximum benefit,” concluded Suydam.

“Just the Facts . . . About Drug Facts” is the inaugural Spotlight on Consumer Health feature of the new consumer section of CHPA’s web site. “CHPA and its members are proud to be able to offer consumers this one-stop shop for information,” said Suydam. The section currently boasts OTC medicine information, free CHPA consumer publications, and links to other information sources, and will expand with more interactive and educational content in the coming months.

Contacts: Mimi Pappas and Donna Edenhart, 202.429/9260

CHPA is the 122-year-old trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplement products.