House Subcommittee Marks Up Legislation to Prevent Teen Over-the-Counter Cough Medicine Abuse

Washington, D.C. (April 20, 2016) — The DXM Abuse Prevention (DAP) Act of 2015 (H.R. 3250) was one of 12 bills marked up by the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health today as part of the subcommittee’s efforts to advance legislation to combat abuse of opioids and other substances. H.R. 3250 was approved by voice vote, clearing the way for consideration by the full House Energy & Commerce Committee.

H.R. 3250 is authored by committee members Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) and Doris Matsui (D-CA). The bipartisan bill would prohibit the sale of over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to those under 18 years of age unless the individual has a prescription or is actively enrolled in the military. It would also place restrictions on distribution of bulk DXM.

“This bill is a common sense way to ensure cough medicine remains accessible to those that use it appropriately, and inaccessible to those who seek to abuse it,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “With the help of advocates, retailers, and manufacturers nationwide, we’ve already made tremendous progress in curbing the abuse of DXM by teens. By creating a national standard, we build on this progress, and protect the health and well-being of teens across the country.”

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), which represents leading manufacturers of OTC cough medicines, strongly supports this legislation and is joined many by substance abuse prevention organizations such as the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

“One in 30 teens abuse OTC cough medicine to get high, and a national law prohibiting the sale of DXM to minors would stop teens from purchasing the medicine with the intent to abuse as well as raise community awareness about this problem,” CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville said.

“Our industry thanks Congressman Johnson and Congresswoman Matsui, as well as House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member, Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) for their leadership and commitment to this issue. We look forward to continuing our work with Congress to move this bill on its path to passage.”

View the full list of partner substance abuse prevention organizations.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 135-year-old national 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 empowering consumer self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products.

 Contact: Jenni Roberson 202.429.3539