House passes Dextromethorphan Distribution Act; NACDS, CHPA applaud

WASHINGTON Both the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores commended the U.S. House of Representatives passing of H.R. 970, the Dextromethorphan Distribution Act of 2007, on Monday, which prohibits the distribution of raw dextromethorphan, an active ingredient commonly found in over-the-counter cough medicines, to any person other than FDA-registered producers of drugs and devices. On that point, NACDS would opt for the approach of Senate companion legislation, which would maintain the availability of bulk DXM to pharmacies for use in compounding.

“Today’s vote demonstrates the commitment of U.S. Reps. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Rick Larsen, D-Wash. … and the bill’s 22 co-sponsors to protecting America’s youth from this serious threat,” stated Linda Suydam, CHPA president. “This bipartisan legislation is vital to protecting America’s youth from unscrupulous online pushers who willingly provide kids with the raw form of dextromethorphan as a means to get high.

“NACDS and its members are committed to the health of communities,” added Steven Anderson, NACDS president and chief executive officer. “This involves maintaining access to necessary medication and preventing the devastation and tragedy of the drug trade and drug abuse.”

NACDS’ work on this issue demonstrates a commitment to three stated priorities of the association—maintaining and advancing the ability of pharmacies to serve patients as an integral part of the health care system, preventing drug abuse and engaging on issues of importance to both the pharmacy and front-end operations of NACDS members.

To become law, the legislation will need to be passed by the House of Representatives and Senate in identical form, and be signed by the President.