CHPA Statement Outlining Measuring and Dosing Improvements Already Made for Liquid OTC Medicines for Children

Washington, D.C. (November 30, 2010)—The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) issued the following statement regarding the progress that has been made over the past year to help caregivers correctly measure and dose over-the-counter (OTC) liquid medications for children. The statement is issued in light of one- to two-year-old survey data published in the November 30, 2010, online edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA):

“The OTC medicine industry takes very seriously its responsibility to help parents and caregivers safely and correctly administer OTC pediatric oral medicines to children. Accordingly, the nation’s OTC medicine makers are working in partnership with other stakeholders and, more than a year ago, approved voluntary guidelines regarding dosing devices and volumetric measurements.

“In November 2009, CHPA approved voluntary guidelines with respect to liquid OTC medicines. The guidelines address two important components. The first involves the inclusion of an appropriate dosing device for OTC pediatric medications. CHPA members are in compliance with this guideline. The second component involves dosing directions for children under age 12 for OTC liquid medications. While the guideline includes such improvements as utilizing charts versus running text for labeled dosing directions and user-friendly formats regarding fractions and decimals, it also suggests use of milliliters as the preferred unit for dosing with an abbreviation to read ‘mL.’ It is our goal that all OTC medicines will fully follow the guidelines by the end of 2011.

“CHPA’s voluntary guidelines, supported by the American Association of Poison Control Centers, were developed as part of a public-private partnership, called the PROTECT Initiative, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other stakeholders. All authors of the JAMA article have participated in PROTECT.”

Editor’s Note: CHPA’s voluntary guidelines are available online. CHPA’s comments to FDA concerning its draft guidance are available online also.

Contacts: Elizabeth Funderburk and Mimi Pappas, 202.429.9260


CHPA is the 129-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements.