Jan 19, 2022
Many members of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) provide unsolicited free samples of nonprescription, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to consumers through the mail or by other means to promote their products. This is an economical and efficient way to accomplish mass sampling. It has been successfully followed for many years, and accidental ingestion of sample OTC medicines by children has been kept to a minimum.
The purpose of these guidelines, adopted for bulk mail sampling in 1967, amended in 1968 and 1969, and further amended in 1994, 1995 and 2015 to include other means of unsolicited consumer sampling, is to catalogue and strengthen standards of care which have evolved in this practice. While these guidelines may be employed in other forms of product promotion, they are not intended to cover transactions in which samples are provided in response to requests from consumers, are delivered to adult consumers in person or are mailed to professionals, such as physicians or dentists, at their office addresses. The company should require that a non-covered transaction, whether carried out by the company itself or by a third party, is conducted in a manner that minimizes potential risk to a child, and is not conducted in such a way that it becomes subject to the guidelines and is not in conformance with them.
These guidelines, carefully observed by the industry, should help guarantee the continued safety and success of this marketing practice. The guidelines read as follows: