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CHPA Statement on PSE Economic Study By AEI Fellow Alex Brill
Date:3/8/2013

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) released a statement today on a recent study conducted by American Enterprise Institute fellow Alex Brill and supported by a grant from CHPA. Brill previously served as the chief economist for the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means from 2002-2007.  His economic policy consulting firm, Matrix Global Advisors, published the study March 4.

With consideration to both the economic costs on the healthcare system and consumers, the study examines the unintended impacts of a prescription-only policy for cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) and finds:

  • Extra doctor visits, contributing $59 million in additional costs to the government, consumers, and private insurance companies in the first year following the policy's implementation;
  • More absenteeism and lost work productivity, when the common cold already costs this nation an estimated $25 billion annually in lost productivity;
  • Higher prices for PSE medicines due to the overall cost difference between a prescription-only product and an over-the-counter one;
  • Increased health insurance premiums due to additional doctor visits and higher PSE drug costs;
  • An estimated loss of $219.2 million in state tax revenues over ten years.

"There is no question that certain states struggle with domestic methamphetamine production," said Alex Brill , chief executive officer of Matrix Global Advisors. "However, my analysis left me convinced that the serious economic and social consequences of a prescription requirement, coupled with the dominance of Mexican drug cartels in the American meth market, should give lawmakers pause before pursuing such a policy."

"Recent consumer surveys clearly demonstrate that law-abiding citizens oppose legislation that would force them to consult with a doctor in order to buy the cold and allergy medicines of their choice," said David Spangler , senior vice president, policy and general counsel at CHPA. "This study provides us with a better understanding of the consumer burden by quantifying the economic impact a prescription requirement would have—most importantly  on consumers— but also on businesses and state governments as well."

Editor's note: To access Brill's complete study, visit http://www.matrixglobaladvisors.com/storage/PSE.pdf

CHPA is the 132-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.

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