Approximately 5.3% of high school seniors abused over-the-counter cough-cold medicines in the past month, according to the latest "Monitoring the Future" survey released Wednesday by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The U.S. Senate last week adopted a resolution designating the month of October 2011 as “National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month” to raise attention to the problem of prescription medicine abuse, especially by teenagers.
Drug maker Avanir Pharmaceuticals has filed suit against two generic drug makers seeking to launch versions of a drug used to treat pseudobulbar affect, which causes sudden, involuntary episodes of laughing and crying, and occurs secondary to numerous other neurological conditions.
The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention last week announced that it is working with the Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association to update quality standards for widely used medicines and ingredients. Updated test methodologies are crucial to help counter economically motivated adulteration — in which less expensive and potentially harmful ingredients are substituted for genuine medicines or their ingredients — and also to address the challenge of impurities that may go undetected with older, nonspecific assays and tests.
There are three issues involving over-the-counter medicines today that have put the industry on the defensive, and all involve the question of appropriate access. Drug Store News examined each.
1. FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS
The issue: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act required that FSA participants obtain a prescription for those OTCs incorporated into their health savings agenda.