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Kids’ cold medicine under scrutiny

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Scott Jagow: We’ve been hearing a lot lately about problems with children’s cold medicines. Today, the Food and Drug Administration will ask an advisory panel for some input. Drug companies could be forced to pull some medicine off the shelves. Jeff Tyler reports.


Jeff Tyler: Some of the biggest drug companies have already volunteered to stop selling cold medicines designed for infants.

But Peter Lurie with the watchdog group Public Citizen says it’s just a minor sacrifice.

Peter Lurie The companies have agreed to take the zero to two-years-old products off the market, because they’re trying to save the larger market. Zero to two represents a small fraction of all the cough and cold medication sold in America today.

Will the move sway FDA decision makers? No, says the FDA’s Joel Schiffenbauer:

Joel Schiffenbauer: The actions taken by individual companies will not influence the questions and concerns that we raise with the committee.

In addition to safety, there’s also a big question about whether kids’ cold medicines are effective.

Again, Peter Lurie:

Lurie: When a product doesn’t work, no amount of risk is acceptable.

Each year, bad reactions to cold medicines send hundreds of kids to emergency rooms.

I’m Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

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