CVS pulls popular cold medicine from shelves

Written by Henrik Rothen

Oct.20 - 2023 3:20 PM CET

Photo: Wikipedia Commons
Photo: Wikipedia Commons
CVS pulls popular cold medicine from shelves.

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CVS Pharmacy has decided to remove specific over-the-counter cold medications from its stores.

This move comes after the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) advisory committee found that oral phenylephrine, a key ingredient in these medicines, is ineffective as a nasal decongestant.

In a statement emailed to The Hill, CVS said,

“We are aware of the FDA Advisory Committee’s position on oral phenylephrine (PE) and will follow direction from the FDA to ensure products we sell comply with all laws and regulations.” The pharmacy chain is discontinuing the sale of cold medicines that list phenylephrine as the sole active ingredient.

Last month, the FDA's Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee evaluated the effectiveness of oral phenylephrine, which is found in products like Sudafed PE Sinus Congestion and Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion ULTRATABS.

The committee members voted against the ingredient's efficacy and discussed the potential for its removal from the market.

Maryann Amirshahi, a member of the advisory committee, emphasized that if these products were to be pulled from the market, it should be framed as "more of an efficacy issue as opposed to a safety issue."

CVS assured that other oral cough and cold products would still be available in their stores to meet consumer needs.

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