HEALTH

House reintroduces DXM Abuse Prevention Act

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Reps. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, and Doris Matsui, D-Calif., both members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the DXM Abuse Prevention Act on Thursday in a bipartisan effort to prevent teen abuse of over-the-counter cough medicines containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, commonly referred to the DXM.

The bill would establish a national age-18 requirement for the purchase of the medicines containing DXM. Over the past several years,12 states have addressed this issue by passing similar legislation.

Johnson and Matsui introduced similar legislation during the previous session of Congress.

“Teens are taking large doses of cough and/or cold medicine to get high, largely because of its easy availability,” Johnson said. “Teenagers, parents and leaders in every community across America need to be educated about this danger that can so easily fly under the radar. While we want to make sure that we are keeping these cough medicines available to the majority of Americans that use them to treat their cold or flu, we also must work to keep kids from developing addictive behaviors by abusing such substances at an early age.”

A 2014 National Institute on Drug Abuse study found that 1 in 30 teens admits to abusing DXM – sometimes taking more than 25 times or more of the recommended dose when abusing these medicines.

“This bill is a common sense way to ensure cough medicine remains accessible to those that use it appropriately, and inaccessible to those who seek to abuse it,” Matsui added. “With the help of advocates, retailers and manufacturers nationwide, we’ve already made tremendous progress in curbing the abuse of DXM by teens. By creating a national standard, we build on this progress, and protect the health and well-being of teens across the country.”

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association is behind the bill. “Our industry thanks Congressman Johnson and Congresswoman Matsui, as well as House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman, Greg Walden, R-Ore., for their leadership and commitment to this issue," stated Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO. "We look forward to continuing our work with Congress to move this bill on its path to passage.”

DXM is a safe and effective cough suppressant found in more than 100 cough and cold medicines. While millions of Americans rely on these medicines to relieve cough and cold symptoms, the 2016 National Institute on Drug Abuse Monitoring the Future study reported that approximately one in 30 teens admits to abusing DXM to get high.

CHPA has long supported national educational efforts to curb teen OTC cough medicine abuse through its StopMedicineAbuse.org education campaign, which includes collaborations with The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, National Association of School Nurses and D.A.R.E. America.
 

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BioElectronics brings wearable pain-relief line to U.S. market

BY Michael Johnsen

FREDERICK, Md. — BioElectronics has initiated retail sales of both its Smart Insole heel pain product and its ActiPatch musculoskeletal knee pain device, the company announced Thursday.

The Smart Insole is an excellent and matchless healing product for heel pain sufferers. The product is the perfect innovation for people required to stand or walk daily.

The ActiPatch musculoskeletal knee pain device provides osteoarthritis sufferers long-lasting 100% safe drug-free pain relief. Unlike knee braces and traditional wraps, the devices are placed on the shelf and sold with aspirin and other pain relief drugs.

The devices are also sold in the Walgreens Boots UK stores as well as other leading retail pharmacy outlets worldwide.

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Study: Baby boomers to drive possible new hearing aid opportunity

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — The aging of America's baby boomers are behind a projected increase in demand for audiologic health care services, according to a study published online by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

With more than two-thirds of adults 70 years or older in the United States having clinically meaningful hearing loss, researchers found that the number of adults in the United States 20 years or older with hearing loss is expected to gradually increase from 44 million in 2020 (15% of adults) to 74 million by 2060 (23% of adults). This increase is greatest among older adults. In 2020, 55% of all adults with hearing loss will be 70 years or older; in 2060, that statistic will be 67%.

"These projections can inform policy makers and public health researchers in planning appropriately for the future audiologic hearing health care needs of society," noted lead author Adele Goman of Johns Hopkins University. "Given the projected increase in the number of people with hearing loss that may strain future resources, greater attention to primary (reducing incidence of hearing loss), secondary (reducing progression of hearing loss) and tertiary (treating hearing loss to reduce functional sequelae) prevention strategies is needed to address this major public health issue."

Already the Food and Drug Administration is moving toward expanding access to hearing aids. In December, the agency announced its commitment to considering a category of over-the-counter hearing aids that could deliver new, innovative and lower-cost products to millions of consumers.

And at a recent ECRM event, where OTC suppliers meet with their retail counterparts to discuss new product introductions as well as merchandising and category management strategies, several hearing aid companies were on hand to discuss possible future product launches.

 

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