(CTN News) – It has been announced that CVS Health is pulling some cough-and-cold treatments from its shelves because they contain an ingredient that doctors and researchers have deemed ineffective for treating coughs and colds.
In a statement, the drug store chain announced that a small number of oral decongestants containing phenylephrine as the only active ingredient will be removed from its shelves.
It was also announced by CVS Health that it will continue to sell a number of other cough and cold products in order to meet the needs of consumers.
When contacted by The Associated Press on Friday morning, a company spokeswoman declined to elaborate on how many products will be removed from the company’s website.
Across the United States, CVS Health operates more than 9,000 stores under the CVS Health brand. According to representatives of Walgreens, its main competitor in the country, no products have been withdrawn from the store.
Walgreens spokeswoman said that the company is monitoring the situation and working closely with its clinical integrity office and suppliers to determine “the appropriate next steps to take.”.
Several members of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s advisory board voted unanimously last month against the effectiveness of phenylephrine, which is found in Sudafed, Dayquil, and other medications available in local pharmacies.
In order to examine the long-questionable drug ingredient, the FDA had enlisted the advice of outside advisers. There has been no difference between phenylephrine medications and placebos for relieving congestion based on studies conducted by both Merck and Johnson & Johnson in the past few years.
According to the FDA, which has not acted upon the advice of its advisers, the drug appears to be more effective when applied directly to the nose, either as a spray or drop. These products are not under review at the moment.
As a result of the move behind pharmacy counters, phenylephrine had become the main ingredient in over-the-counter decongestants that contained an older ingredient – pseudoephedrine – as a preservative.
As a result of a CVS Health 2006 law, pseudoephedrine was forced to move because it can be illegally processed into methamphetamine.
Those original versions of Sudafed and other medicines are still available without a prescription in many parts of the world.
As winter sets in, CVS Health announced the sale of their cold and flu medications just ahead of another cold-and-flu season in the United States.
There was a shortage of Children’s Tylenol and other medications customers can purchase over-the-counter without a prescription last year due to an unusually fast start to the season.