CHPA Responds To Prescription Requirement Cost Implications Outlined in Tennessee Economic Impact Study

Jan 21, 2014, 10:00 ET from Consumer Healthcare Products Association

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) today released the following statement regarding a new economic impact analysis conducted by Dr. Martin Kennedy, a former professor of economics who spent seven years on the faculty of Middle Tennessee State University. He now works as a data scientist for an online education company.

Dr. Kennedy's study, which was supported by a grant from CHPA, analyzed the potential economic consequences for Tennessee if the General Assembly adopts a prescription requirement for cold and allergy products containing pseudoephedrine.

Some of the study's most compelling findings include the following impacts of a prescription requirement:

  • An influx of more than 497,000 additional physician office visits in Tennessee at a direct cost of $44.27 million annually.
  • The cost for Tennessee includes out-of-pocket expenses, private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, and public clinics.
  • The estimate of lost productivity to due to cold and allergy symptoms is currently $524 million.  Under a prescription requirement this would increase.  Every one percent increase in this cost translates to a loss of $5.24 million
  • The overall estimate does not include "indirect costs," such as time and effort to get to the doctor, as well as lost productivity for businesses.

"I approached this study with a very open mind. As a Tennessee citizen and a father of five, I believe very strongly that something more must be done to tackle the scourge of meth production in our state," Dr. Kennedy said. "As an economist, however, there's no question that when conducting a detailed analysis of a prescription requirement, the new costs associated with such a policy change are striking and considerable. I hope that these empirical findings will provide policymakers with a fuller understanding of the potential impacts of the prescription-only approach."

"Members of the Tennessee General Assembly are to be commended for looking for new policy solutions to the state's ongoing methamphetamine problem," said CHPA President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Melville. "But as Dr. Kennedy's new analysis makes clear, a prescription requirement for safe and effective cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine would have significant—and in our view—unnecessary economic consequences for consumers, healthcare providers, businesses, and the state as a whole. Rather than pursuing such a costly and burdensome approach, policymakers and opinion leaders should advocate for more balanced solutions, including reasonable pseudoephedrine purchasing limits and stiffer criminal penalties for meth offenders. Tennessee families should not be punished for the actions of a criminal minority."

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 133-year-old trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to promoting the increasingly vital role of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements in America's healthcare system through science, education, and advocacy.

SOURCE Consumer Healthcare Products Association