CHPA Opposes Prescription Mandate for Over-the-Counter Medicines

California’s S.B. 484 puts burden on consumers who rely on OTC allergy and cold medicines

Washington, D.C. (June 2, 2009)—The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) issued the following statement in opposition to an initiative—S.B. 484—passed by the California state Senate today requiring consumers to obtain a prescription for over-the-counter (OTC) medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE):

“Medicines containing pseudoephedrine serve an important healthcare need by bringing much-needed relief to consumers, conveniently and affordably, and are central to the safe and effective self-treatment of colds, allergies, and sinus problems.

“While CHPA strongly supports efforts to address the methamphetamine problem in this country, we believe that today’s vote by the California Senate serves as a well-intentioned but misguided approach.  This initiative will have little effect on the trafficking of methamphetamine in California but will force consumers suffering nasal congestion or allergies to spend time in their doctors’ offices and waiting rooms so a cursory examination can be administered and a prescription obtained.

“Rather than inflicting this burden on consumers as well as the healthcare system, we urge California legislators to consider a more measured and effective alternative. CHPA believes viable alternatives include implementation of an electronic sales tracking system which would provide the best opportunity to address law enforcement concerns while maintaining consumer access to these medicines without the added costs of a doctor’s visit.”

Contacts: Elizabeth Funderburk and Mimi Pappas, 202.429.9260 | (cell) 202.262.3058


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