Cough Medicines? How About Pulling Cars From the Roads

  • by: |
  • 10/12/2007
This recent Vioxx liability driven drive to yank infant cough formulas from the shelves is the latest in a series of meaningless gestures that will do nothing to make kids safer or save lives. The leading cause of death and injury among kids are car accidents. I don't see trial lawyers and their allies threatening to sue the auto companies for vehicular manslaughter. But when stupid parents OD their kids on Triaminic or Children's Tylenol for Cough and Cold somehow that's the drug company's fault. As in this case report: "n the third case report, the child tragically died from an overdose of cough and cold medications that likely had been persistently administered because of continued symptoms in the child." I know, I know, the marketing made them do it. People are brain dead until some TV ad programs them to do something lethal. Nothing before or after matters.

I predict there will be a jihad against all pediatric cough formulations soon. The "safety uber alles" crowd smells blood after this victory and won't stop. They see danger lurking everywhere because they believe drug companies have to poison people to make profits.

Risk in life is not an all or nothing proposition. Life is a series of trade-offs, balancing the bad with the good, the bitter with the sweet, etc. Learning how to handle risky situations big and small is part of growing up, becoming an adult. We are infantilizing our culture further with this sort of overreach. You can't buy Claritin-D without a driver's license (but I can buy Viagra over the internet) build treehouses anymore, can't ride a bike without a helmet, can't play soldier, can't even sell cupcakes in school anymore without have some safety nanny get between you and a good time or you and a personal decision.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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