Statement from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) on a Study on Parental Dosing of Pediatric OTC Cough and Cold Medication

Flawed study focuses on products that are no longer available

Washington, D.C. (May 26, 2009)—Dr. Heinz Schneider, vice president, Science & Medical Affairs, Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), issued the following statement in response to a study published in today’s issue of Pediatrics, “Parental Misinterpretations of Over-the-Counter Pediatric Cough and Cold Medication Labels”:

“The leading makers of OTC oral cough and cold medicines take very seriously the safety of their products and the information for safe dosing on medicine labels. Out of an abundance of caution and due to rare cases of parental misuse, all the products pertinent to today’s Pediatrics study were voluntarily removed from the market in October 2007. The voluntary market withdrawal was taken to prevent misuse, not due to the safety of the medicines themselves.

“While this study focuses on products that are not available, it does shine light on an issue that is still very germane. In contrast to the artificial scenario created by the study authors who asked a small cohort of caregivers to look only at the front of product packages to determine appropriate use, the makers of OTC medicines want to remind parents to read the entire label before giving any medicine to a child. There is no substitute for reading and following the OTC Drug Facts label. The label provides specific dosing instructions, including when to contact a doctor for more information.“

EDITOR’S NOTE: The makers of OTC medicines support the CHPA Educational Foundation—housed at OTCsafety.org—to ensure parents have the information they need to safely and responsibly give and use OTC medicines.

Contacts: Virginia Cox and 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 supplements.