Makers of Over-the-Counter Medicines Support Washington State Sales Law on Cough Medicine Taking Effect Today

Washington, D.C. — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, released the following statement in support of today’s enactment of a Washington State law prohibiting the sale of OTC medicines containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan (DXM) to minors. According to the 2014 National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA’s) annual Monitoring the Future survey, one in 30 teens abuses OTC cough medicine containing DXM to get high, and age-18 laws serve as an effective safeguard to help curb these alarming rates.

CHPA applauds Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Rep. Paul Harris for working to prevent teen medicine abuse by shepherding this law through the legislature.  The legislation was supported by a broad based coalition of organizations, including state and local law enforcement, the Washington State Parent Teacher Association, Children’s Alliance, students, physicians, nurses and local substance abuse groups.

“Washington is the eighth state to implement a law addressing the issue of teen medicine abuse, and the enactment of similar legislation in states across the country has indicated that limiting teen access to DXM is a proven way to prevent abuse,” CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville said. “We’re hopeful that the implementation  of this law will help to alert parents who do not know that some teens abuse these medicines and encourage them to safeguard the medicines in their homes and to talk to their teens about the dangers of abusing medicines."

To learn more about the side effects of DXM abuse, go to StopMedicineAbuse.org.

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The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 134-year-old trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to promoting the increasingly vital role of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements in America’s healthcare system through science, education, and advocacy.
chpa.org

Contact: Jenni Terry (202) 429-9260