Over-the-Counter Drugs

Health care products

Over-the-Counter Drugs
HCP
Steve Debenport

Americans routinely use over-the-counter (OTC) products—from cough and cold medicines to sunscreens—to treat and protect their health. These medications carry risks of their own, and when new or previously unknown safety issues emerge, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must be able to respond quickly. That’s often challenging under the agency’s current OTC oversight system, which regulates more than 300,000 products.

Pew is working to strengthen and streamline FDA’s oversight of OTC drugs so that the agency can swiftly address safety risks and protect consumers’ health.

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Congress Passes Legislation to Reform Over-the-Counter Drug Regulation

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Congress Passes Legislation to Reform Over-the-Counter Drug Regulation

Congress gave final approval March 27 to long-needed legislation that will improve the safety of over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest. In the coming months, President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress will tackle a number of environmental, health, public safety, and fiscal and economic issues—nearly all of them complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help solve specific, systemic problems in a nonpartisan fashion, Pew has compiled a series of briefings and recommendations based on our research, technical assistance, and advocacy work across America.