State & Local Legislative Priorities

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The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) represents the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices. Through science, education, and advocacy, CHPA works to ensure consumer access to safe, effective, and convenient OTC medicines for the treatment and prevention of many common ailments and diseases.

2022 State and Local Legislative Priorities

Self-Care Empowers Consumers to Manage Their Health and Well-Being

CHPA recognizes the value of self-care and the important role it plays in the nation’s overall healthcare system. A safe self-care regimen includes:

  • Making healthy lifestyle choices (including physical activity and a healthy diet)
  • Responsible use of medicine (both prescription and nonprescription)
  • Immediate recognition of symptoms associated with illness (assessing and addressing common ailments and seeking the assistance of a healthcare professional when necessary)
  • Self-monitoring (checking symptoms for signs of improvement or deterioration)
  • Self-management of sickness (managing symptoms alone, with the assistance of a healthcare professional when necessary, or in partnership with others with the same condition)

Self-Care is prominent in CHPA’s vision: happier, healthier lives through responsible self-care. It is also prevalent in our mission: empower self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products.

The appropriate use of over-the-counter medicines plays an important role in managing one’s health, which has both personal and public benefits. A recent study found that every dollar spent on over-the-counter medicines saves the United States healthcare system over $7 dollars each year totaling $146 billion in annual savings, and that without access to OTC medicine, over 60 million Americans would not seek treatment for their ailments at all.1 Additionally, over-the-counter medical devices like bandages, menstrual products, face masks, and at-home test kits, used for the purposes of prevention, testing, and treatment generate additional annual savings of $8 billion to the healthcare system.2 Furthermore, consumption of vitamin and mineral supplements can fill critical nutrient gaps, particularly for lower-income families that may experience food insecurities.

Supply Chain Efficiency

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, CHPA supports policies at all levels of government that enable a functioning supply chain to deliver products to consumers where and when they need them.

Labeling: CHPA Opposes Bills That Violate Federal Preemption Laws

Federal drug labeling requirements in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act preempt state and local attempts to change labeling on consumer healthcare products. This ensures that consumers receive consistent, and accurate information about safe medicine use. Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility CHPA takes very seriously our industry’s role in providing sustainable packaging that meets both health and safety standards and environmental protection. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates drug product packaging under Good Manufacturing Practices regulations including material examination and usage criteria packaging, labeling operations, tamper-evident packaging, and expiration dating. Certain drugs are also regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission under the Poison Prevention Packaging Act which requires child-resistant packaging.

CHPA opposes state and local government attempts to regulate consumer healthcare product packaging since those policies likely conflict with existing federal laws.

Drug Disposal: CHPA Opposes Costly and Unnecessary Drug Take-Back Programs

CHPA supports broad public awareness about the proper use, and storage of over-the-counter medication. Additionally, we also feel it critical to educate consumers about existing disposal options already in place voluntarily around the country. Public awareness of safe disposal methods and location of medicine drop off sites has proven to be the most effective tool in addressing safe medicine use, storage and eventual disposal. CHPA opposes costly, inefficient, and unnecessary drug take-back programs that jeopardize the affordability of consumer healthcare.

CHPA Supports Favorable Tax Treatment for Consumer Healthcare Products

Consumer healthcare products play an important role in the health status of millions of Americans and are a safe and affordable component of the nation’s healthcare system. While 43 of the 45 states with sales tax currently exempt prescription drugs, only 15 states and the District of Columbia exempt OTC medicines and only 16 states and the District of Columbia exempt dietary supplements. CHPA believes consumer healthcare products should be exempt from sales tax in all states as a way to encourage treatment of common ailments, before they become serious and require a physician’s intervention. CHPA Opposes State-Specific Labeling Requirements for Dietary Supplements While the Food and Drug Administration has sole authority over the labeling of dietary supplements, some state lawmakers have nevertheless introduced legislation proposing additional state-specific labeling requirements. Existing federal law is designed to protect consumers by ensuring the safety and efficacy of the supplements being consumed. It also provides Americans with consistency of information being conveyed. CHPA opposes state-specific labeling requirements, restrictions to consumer access to dietary supplements, and state regulations for supplement products inconsistent with federal law.

INFORM Consumers Act

As record numbers of consumers turn to online shopping and unregulated third-party sellers operating through online marketplaces as their preferred purchase method of choice, the need to ensure product safety and integrity must also expand. The INFORM Consumers Act requires online marketplaces to disclose certain verified information regarding high-volume third-party sellers of consumer products. In addition to providing increased transparency for online consumers, the policy will allow law enforcement to better identify sellers suspected of trafficking stolen and counterfeit goods. CHPA supports efforts by the Buy Safe America Coalition to get INFORM legislation filed and ultimately passed in states around the country.

References

1 www.overthecountervalue.org

2 et al.

Staff Contacts

Carlos Gutierrez Headshot in suit and red tie
Vice President, State & Local Government Affairs
Robbie McLuckie Headshot in grey suit and lilac tie
Senior Manager, State & Local Government Affairs – Eastern Region
Kennedy Solomon Headshot
Manager, Government Affairs