Log in

View Full Version : Drug industry acting to curb DXM abuse

04-15-2004, 04:53 PM
Since January, Walgreens, the nation's largest drugstore chain, has limited purchases of Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold tablets, a DXM product known to abusers as "triple Cs," to three packages per customer.

Manufacturers, meanwhile, have embarked on education efforts, changed packaging to discourage shoplifting and even cut back on the ingredient in some products.

"We recognize there's a role for us to play," said Mary-Fran Faraji, spokeswoman for Schering- Plough Health Care Inc. of Kenilworth, N.J., which makes Coricidin. Schering-Plough is distributing fact sheets to pharmacists and parents who buy dextromethorphan products. The guide for parents urges them to talk to their children about drug abuse and to know their children's friends and their parents.

Wyeth Consumer Healthcare of Madison, N.J., which makes Robitussin cough syrup, recently enlarged the packaging of its newest DXM product, anti-cough gel tabs, while reducing the amount of the drug compared to the bottled version, spokesman Fran Sullivan said.

State lawmakers in New York and California want to go even further, introducing legislation that would ban sales to minors of products containing DXM.

Meanwhile, pharmacies in some areas with reports of abuse are stocking Coricidin and other products containing dextromethorphan behind the counter, selling them only upon request.

Dan Kennedy, manager of a Portland pharmacy, said he took action after hearing about problems with DXM in the area sev eral months ago. "There were some high schoolers who were abusing it," he said.

"At that point, we pulled Coricidin behind the counter and posted a sign saying that it's available with a pharmacist's assistance."

But some pharmacists are uneasy with making the practice widespread, noting that more than 100 products contain the drug.

"At a practical level, it raises a difficult set of issues," said Tom Holt, executive director of the Oregon State Pharmacy Association. "Take Robitussin: It's not one product - it's a couple of dozen."

(Beginning of article cut for space)

Full Article:
http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/...28700243110.xml (http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1082028700243110.xml)