3 CDC Medication Safety Initiatives

Nearly 35,000 children are brought into the Emergency Room each year because they accidentally ingested medicine when a parent or guardian wasn’t looking. 

Enhanced child safety packaging and error prevention for prescription and OTC drugs are a primary concern for the pharmaceutical industry, from the scientists developing the drugs to the packaging manufacturers. Together, we can effectively reduce the number of children poisoned by prescription and OTC drugs by embracing the well-developed medication safety programs and initiatives put in place by the CDC.

What is the CDC?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a federal agency that researches, supports, and conducts health promotion, preparedness, and prevention in the United States. Over the years, the CDC has made great strides in reducing accidental poisonings by working with the FDA and medical professionals to streamline how medication is delivered and by reinforcing the importance of safe storage.

They have accomplished this increase in medication safety through 3 primary initiatives.

1. Education and Outreach

The PROTECT Initiative is a CDC led – public & private partnership, providing comprehensive education and outreach programs for parents, caregivers, and young adults. In particular, the Up and Away campaign aims to reduce accidental poisonings in the household by making sure that parents and adults are educated on proper storage.

Additional Resources for Parents:

  1. Label and Dosing Standardization

2. Label and Dosing Standardization

PROTECT partners have led many initiatives to improve liquid medication packaging, labeling, and dosing devices.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Assoc. (CHPA) developed voluntary guidelines that support the use of single volumetric unit (mL) for oral liquid medicines for children.

The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) further recommends the use of leading zeros before decimal amounts less than one, but NOT the use of trailing zeros after a decimal for oral liquid medication packaging.

3. Exposure-Limiting Packaging

Members of the PROTECT Initiative have taken medication safety to the next level by developing and refining new packaging designs that restrict the flow of liquid medications and have encouraged their professional peers and competitors to follow suit.

Comar takes safety packaging options seriously, and offers a full line of flow-restrictororal syringe systems, and dosage cups & spoons that effectively reduce a child’s exposure to liquid medications by either restricting the amount of liquid dispensed or by making it easy to measure the proper dosage.

The CDC, FDA, and other pharmaceutical organizations work hard every day to keep our children safe through technological advances and innovative new educational resources. 

Please do your part to reduce accidental child poisonings by taking your product packaging up a notch to ensure regulatory compliance and ease of use in the home.