The NY Times reported Thursday that the Food and Drug Administration, which had been pressuring makers of over-the-counter cough medicine for infants and toddlers to withdraw their products from the market, has gotten its way.
The voluntary withdrawal, already under way, affects only products labeled for use in infants, not for use in children 2 and older. And some small companies could continue selling infant products. More changes, perhaps mandated by federal drug regulators, could be in the offing.
The withdrawal comes two weeks after safety reviewers within the Food and Drug Administration urged the agency to consider an outright ban of over-the-counter cough and cold products for children under 6.
As per type, Democrats were all over the industry. After the FDA’s internal recommendation that sales of the drugs be stopped:
Representative Henry A. Waxman, the California Democrat who is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to the industry’s trade association asking why the products were still being sold.
Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, criticized the drug agency for a delayed withdrawal.
“The F.D.A. should be first to act to ensure consumer safety rather than leaving families to rely on the industry itself,” Mr. Schumer said.
Presumedly Schumer would prefer that American mothers and fathers depend on him, Congress, and a future national health care system rather than making their own decisions.
While children need to be given all medicine with care – prescriptions meds are hardly any safer; that’s why they’re dispensed by doctors – parents should have both the medicine and the information to make good decisions available to them.
Do you wonder why health care costs so much in the U.S.? This is one small example of how an overly-regulated industry’s cost structure becomes bloated and needlessly forces people into doctors’ offices and – especially the poor – into emergency rooms.