CHPA joins anti-BTC camp

WASHINGTON The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Wednesday released a statement advocating increased access to over-the-counter medicines and noted that a third-class of drugs did not need to be created to expand access to appropriate medicines.

The flexibility to accomplish that expanded access exists in the two-drug system, today, commented Linda Suydam, president of CHPA. “The last several years have seen a significant number of successful Rx-to-OTC switches across a wide range of therapeutic categories, which have benefited millions of patients with such conditions as migraines, frequent recurring heartburn, vaginal yeast infections and hair loss,” Suydam stated. “Most importantly, flexibility is built in to the existing framework, with sponsors having the opportunity to work with the [Food and Drug Administration] and to design the appropriate tools to address any challenges to that particular medicine,” she said. “Examples of this include informational and support strategies to support the Rx-to-OTC switches of nicotine replacement therapy, orlistat and levonorgestrel.”

CHPA was one of several organizations presenting information Wednesday on a possible behind-the-counter class of drugs during a meeting hosted by the FDA.

“As reflected in our presentation today, CHPA has always advocated for expanded access to nonprescription medicines, and we have made every effort to empower consumers with the additional tools and information needed to make appropriate decisions on OTC use,” Suydam said.