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 ailments and diseases.

2021 Priorities

CHPA Promotes Responsible Self-Care to Empower Consumers to Manage Their Health and Well-Being

CHPA advocates for recognition of the value of self-care, including:

  • Making healthy lifestyle choices (including physical activity and healthy eating to maintain good health and prevent illness)
  • Making responsible use of all medicines and dietary supplements
  • Self-recognition of symptoms (assessing and addressing symptoms and seeking the assistance of a healthcare professional when necessary)
  • Self-monitoring (checking symptoms for signs of improvement or deterioration)
  • Self-management (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 — as well as our mission: empower self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products. The appropriate use of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements play 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

Safe Drug Disposal

CHPA supports voluntary disposal efforts, but opposes costly, inefficient mandatory drug take-back programs.

CHPA promotes broad public awareness on the proper use, storage, and disposal of medicines as the most effective tool for addressing abuse, misuse, and environmental impacts of medicines. CHPA opposes mandatory, manufacturer-funded drug take-back programs, which add costs to otherwise affordable over-the-counter products and do little to address drug diversion, abuse, or environmental protection. CHPA recommends safe medication storage and advises consumers to adhere to guidance published by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on proper medication disposal. CHPA is a strong supporter of the DEA bi-annual drug take-back days currently already in place, and the use of existing take-back bin/kiosks at law enforcement locations and retail pharmacies across the country.  In partnership with the Pharmaceutical Product Stewardship Working Group (PPSWG), CHPA supports the promotion of www.myoldmeds.com — the most comprehensive database of drug disposal locations throughout the United States.

Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility

CHPA takes very seriously our industry’s responsibility 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 discourages state and local governments from conflicting with an existing federal framework related to packaging. 

Pseudoephedrine

CHPA supports the fight against diversion of pseudoephedrine by criminals while maintaining access to cold and allergy medications for law-abiding allergy sufferers.

Pseudoephedrine (PSE), a safe, effective, FDA approved decongestant used by millions of American families every year to deal with symptoms associated with the common cold or allergies, is at times used by criminals to manufacture methamphetamine. Federal sales restrictions on pseudoephedrine products, established by the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act (CMEA) in 2006, have significantly reduced the number of domestic methamphetamine labs. In an effort to continue the fight against clandestine meth labs, CHPA member companies created and fully fund the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx), a multi-state, real-time, stop-sale system that blocks the illegal sale of PSE at the point of sale. NPLEx prevents individuals from evading state and federal law while preserving access to consumers and providing law enforcement with tools to help track down meth manufacturers. The system has been adopted by 35 states nationwide and it has worked to block millions upon millions of illegal PSE purchases from ever occurring. CHPA supports a nationwide electronic system as a tool to enforce purchase limits by preventing the illegal purchase of products containing PSE.

Cough Medicine

CHPA supports prohibiting the sale of cough medicine containing dextromethorphan to minors.

Every year, millions of Americans use OTC medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to relieve cough symptoms. Cough medicine with DXM has been available over-the-counter in the United States for more than 50 years and is safe and effective when taken as recommended. However, according to the 2020 National Institute on Drug Abuse Monitoring the Future survey, nearly four percent of teenagers have intentionally taken exceedingly large amounts of cough medicine containing DXM to get high. CHPA supports federal and state efforts prohibiting the sale of cough medicine to those under the age of 18. CHPA opposes legislation, however, requiring these medications be placed behind the pharmacy counter.  As of February 2021, twenty states have enacted age-18 restrictions for products containing DXM. No state requires behind-the-pharmacy counter placement of these medicines.

Tax Support for OTCs, Dietary Supplements, and Consumer Medical Devices

CHPA supports favorable tax treatment for OTC medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements 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 a sales tax currently exempt prescription drugs from sales tax, only 13 states and the District of Columbia exempt OTC medicines. Fourteen states exempt dietary supplements from sales tax or tax at a lower rate than other goods. CHPA believes OTC products should be exempt from sales tax in all states to encourage treatment for common ailments, before they become serious.

Labeling

CHPA opposes state bills that violate federal preemption provisions.

Federal drug labeling requirements in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act preempt state and local measures. This ensures that consumers receive consistent, accurate information about how to choose the medicines that are right for them and how to use those medicines appropriately.

Dietary Supplements

CHPA opposes state-specific labeling requirements for dietary supplements.

CHPA fully supports full implementation and enforcement of the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA) and is pleased that FDA released its final rule for dietary supplement Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). This rule establishes uniform standards and ensures that dietary supplements are produced in a quality manner, do not contain contaminants or impurities, and are accurately labeled.

References

1 www.overthecountervalue.org

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