HEALTH

CADC, CHPA together promote National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month events

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Tuesday collaborated to spread awareness about over-the-counter cough medicine abuse among parents and communities in recognition of annual National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month.

“As the nation’s leading substance abuse prevention organization, CADCA is deeply concerned about the misuse and abuse of medicines — whether prescription or over-the-counter,” stated Gen. Arthur Dean, CADCA chairman and CEO. “Too many young people are seeking out these substances as a means to get high without realizing the devastating impact medicine abuse can have on their lives. National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month will help educate families across America about the dangers of abusing medicines and spur communities into action.”

Every October, the organizations encourage communities to take part in helping to raise awareness about abuse of prescription medicine, as well as OTC medicine containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, which teens abuse in excessive amounts in pursuit of a high. 

In preparation of the month, CADCA urges its membership to plan and promote an educational event — such as a town hall meeting for parents, youth and community advocates — to educate them on the potential dangers associated with medicine abuse and to discuss prevention, intervention strategies and treatment. Additional suggestions for how coalitions can take part are found on CADCA’s website. 

During this month, the associations also are focused on increasing support for the passage of the Preventing Abuse of Cough Treatments (PACT) Act (S. 644) introduced by U.S. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

“We are grateful to CADCA coalitions for being the boots on the ground and fighting this abuse on the community level, where a difference can be made one teen at a time,”  said Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO. “Thanks to the dedication of CADCA coalitions, communities across the country are reaching parents about OTC cough medicine abuse — a dangerous behavior that often flies under parents’ radar screens.”

CADCA is a partner of CHPA’s Stop Medicine Abuse campaign, which works to inform parents of the behavior and encourages them to talk to their teens, safeguard their medicines and spread the word in their communities.

 

 

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CHPA commends California for packaging law clarification on the use of excess container capacity

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Tuesday commended California Gov. Jerry Brown for signing S.B. 465 into law, which clarifies the current state law on the use of empty space between the product and excess container capacity, commonly referred to as “nonfunctional slack fill.”

While a variety of federal and state-specific statutes protect consumers against deceptions or misrepresentation, manufacturers have faced inconsistent enforcement actions in California for their product packaging even though the packaging meets one of the statutory exemptions. S.B. 465 clarifies existing law that if a package satisfies any one of the nonfunctional slack fill exemptions, the package is exempt from liability.

“We thank Gov. Brown and the California legislature from bringing clarity to the law. Manufacturers who package their products in a way that gives consumers facts they need to make well-informed choices and ensures product quality shouldn’t be at-risk to unfair penalties. This change advances that objective,” stated CHPA president and CEO Scott Melville.

Melville noted this measure is of significance to over-the-counter medicine companies, which have special considerations and labeling requirements when developing product packaging. Since the late 1960s, all OTC medicines have been required by law to state the quantity of the contents on the front of the package. While some OTC medicines may come in packaging that may at casual glance seem larger than necessary, this can be for many reasons, such as sufficient size to include the Drug Facts information, to assure the stability of the contents, or to allow for child-resistant packaging features.

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Pharmaca helps almost 400,000 children use supplements through Vitamin Angel donations

BY Michael Johnsen

BOULDER, Colo. — Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy on Monday announced that it has served nearly 400,000 children through its partnership with Vitamin Angels. Donations have added up to $98,000 since the start of the partnership in 2004, enough money to serve more than 395,000 people.      

“Pharmaca has been one of our longest and most consistent contributors,” stated Brittany Andrews, account manager for Vitamin Angels. “Pharmaca’s highly trained staff truly understands the value and importance of essential nutrients. They are not only passionate about the health of their customers, but also about ensuring the health and wellbeing of children around the world.”

“From the start, we have felt strongly about sharing the gift of healthy living with people far and wide — not just with our customers,” said Don Summerfield, Pharmaca’s VP integrative medicine. “Vitamin Angels has been the perfect partner in this venture, and we’re so happy we have been able to contribute to their important work.”

Pharmaca collects donations for Vitamin Angels throughout the year, and runs several special promotions each year to encourage customer donations. Pharmaca hopes to reach another 80,000 children in 2014.  

 

 

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