(CBS) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants you to check your medicine cabinet to see if you have any of more than 500 medicines it is pulling off the market.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports that the FDA on Wednesday pulled more than 500 cold and allergy medications off the market over concerns about health risks.
University of Illinois at Chicago pharmacy professor Jan Engle said “Some of the drugs that are on here, I have not even heard of.”
Even so, the FDA said those drugs are ineffective, unapproved and possibly dangerous. Some contain ingredients that have been around for more than 50 years.
“Some of the ingredients are in combinations that are not safe, and that’s one of the reasons the FDA doesn’t want them on the market,” Engle said.
Many consumers said Wednesday that, if the drugs haven’t been properly vetted, then they shouldn’t be available to the public.
“I think it’s wonderful. I’m a mother of four children and I’m concerned their health and safety and future,” Heather Hahn of Forest Park said. “And I also spent many years taking care of a senior citizen. You want to know what’s going into their bodies.”
Pharmacist Tom Kukulski said he isn’t so sure that all the drugs should be taken off the market. He said he thinks some of the medications on the FDA’s list might be beneficial to some of his customers at The Medicine Stop.
“Some of the older ones did work better for certain people,” he said.
Kukulski also said he is concerned that this latest FDA crackdown could be felt in consumer pocket books.
“All manufacturers with these older-type drugs will have to prove that they’re effective now,” Kukulski said.
Makers of the unapproved drugs will have 90 days to cease production.
Kukulski said he suspects that many patients won’t notice much of a change, since he had a hard time finding a single bottle of those soon-to-be-banned medications, although he admitted his search was far from comprehensive.
“Most of these drugs are not being made anymore,” he said.
The one he did find was in storage and not for sale.
At UIC’s pharmacy, they also had a difficult time finding a single bottle of those medications on their shelves.
Many of the soon-to-be-banned medications are available in other products that that have been FDA approved. Others are now available over the counter.
If you’re wondering how so many unapproved drugs could have made it to market, it’s because they started selling before the FDA put its drug regulations in place back in 1962.
So, essentially, they were grandfathered in.