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CVS pulling some cold medications from pharmacy shelves


A CVS store sign Associated Press/Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez, file

CVS pulling some cold medications from pharmacy shelves

The pharmacy chain said on Thursday it would stop selling oral decongestants containing phenylephrine as the only active ingredient after reports that the drug was ineffective. Last month, advisers for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously against the effectiveness of phenylephrine. Years of studies by drugmakers Merck and Johnson & Johnson found that phenylephrine-based medications were no more effective at treating nasal congestion than placebos.

Which medications will be pulled? CVS has not yet provided a list of decongestants it will pull from its shelves. Phenylephrine is an ingredient in several popular cold medicines made by brands such as NyQuil, Benadryl, Sudafed, and Mucinex. The company said it will only stop selling medications that have phenylephrine as the only active ingredient. The chain said it will continue to sell “many other” oral cough and cold products to meet consumers’ health needs.

Dig deeper: Read Ashley Vaughan’s report in Liberties about a nurse practitioner who sued CVS over its contraception mandate.


Travis K. Kircher

Travis is the associate breaking news editor for WORLD.


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