2007-10-31 / Features

'Dangerous Cough, Cold Drops For Babies Under 2' Still On Some Pharmacy Shelves

BY JOHN TOSCANO

"I have found, unfortunately, many pharmacies still selling these potentially fatal products in my district. It's time for pharmacies to stop selling this dangerous medication..." "I have found, unfortunately, many pharmacies still selling these potentially fatal products in my district. It's time for pharmacies to stop selling this dangerous medication..." Many pharmacies in Jackson Heights, Corona and Elmhurst are still carrying some of the infant cold medicines recalled by drug manufacturers, according to a survey done by state Senator John Sabini's staff and released by him last week.

The lawmaker warned that the recall was based on fatal overdose risks connected to some of the medications. He called on pharmacies in New York City to stop selling the potentially dangerous medications.

"Over 100 babies have died and over a thousand have gone to the emergency room over the years because of overdosing on infant cold medicines, and the manufacturers have finally responded by recalling the products listed," he said.

Sabini (D- Jackson Heights), a member of the senate Consumer Protection Committee, said, "I have found, unfortunately, many pharmacies still selling these potentially fatal products in my district. It's time for pharmacies to stop selling this dangerous medication, and for the public to use caution when considering medication for the very young."

Sabini said that last Tuesday, October 23, staff and volunteers from his office visited 26 pharmacies in Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights in search of recalled medicines and found one or more of the products at 14 of them.

Sabini suggested several explanations for the availability of the recalled cold medicines, including that some may be buying "gray market products" and not having direct contact with manufacturers. Also, he said, some pharmacies may not want to go through the "hassle" of returning products, then waiting for refunds. Another reason he touched on for noncompliance was that there may not have been enough publicity about the matter, especially for non- English-speaking businesses or media.

Sabini said there is currently an effort underway to urge the federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to ban infant cold medicines such as those recalled. He noted that Public Citizen, a health research group, had argued at the FDA October 19 hearing that all dosage forms such as droppers or syringes intended for children should be removed from the market and all remaining products should be clearly labeled to say that the products have not been shown to work in children and may be dangerous.

According to Sabini, the list of recalled medicines included:

•Dimetapp® Decongestant Plus Cough Infant Drops

•Dimetapp® Decongestant Infant Drops

•Little Colds® Decongestant Plus Cough

•Little Colds® Multi-Symptom Cold Formula

•PEDIACARE® Infant Drops Decongestant (containing pseudoephedrine)

•PEDIACARE® Infant Drops Decongestant & Cough (containing pseudoephedrine)

•PEDIACARE® Infant Dropper Decongestant (containing phenylephrine)

•PEDIACARE® Infant Dropper Long-Acting Cough

•PEDIACARE® Infant Dropper Decongestant & Cough (containing phenylephrine)

•Robitussin® Infant Cough DM Drops

•Triaminic® Infant & Toddler Thin Strips® Decongestant

•Triaminic® Infant & Toddler Thin Strips® Decongestant Plus Cough

•TYLENOL ® Concentrated Infants' Drops Plus Cold

• TYLENOL® Concentrated Infants' Drops Plus Cold & Cough

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