Makers of Over-the-Counter Medicines Respond to Pediatrics Study on Units of Measurement on Liquid Medicines

Washington, D.C. (July 14, 2014) — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) released the following statement today in response to the Pediatrics study “Unit of Measurement Used and Parent Medication Dosing Errors,” which found that parents who used milliliter-only units made fewer dosing errors than those who used teaspoon or tablespoon units.

 “This study underscores the importance of standardizing dosing instructions, which CHPA has long supported as a way of helping parents to appropriately treat their children’s symptoms with over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.

 “The makers of OTC medicines fully support using mL as the standard unit of measurement on all liquid OTC medicines.  In 2009, CHPA expressed this industry commitment by adopting voluntary guidelines that specify mL as the preferred unit of measure.  Alternatively, a mL unit can be used together with a ‘teaspoonful’, but manufacturers should avoid use of a ‘teaspoonful’ unit alone. The study affirms that consumers do understand instructions with milliliters (mL).

 “In addition to adopting these packaging guidelines, CHPA works to educate and empower parents to safely treat their children with OTCs through the CHPA Educational Foundation. The foundation reminds parents of the importance of reading and following the label and only using the dosing device that comes with the medicine – never a kitchen spoon. The foundation reaches parents online through its website and its social media channels as well as through partnerships with organizations including the Food and Drug Administration and the American Academy of Family Physicians and with leading parent bloggers.”

 Contact Jenni Terry 202.429.9260


The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 133-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.