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CPSC And Chattem Inc. Settle Child-Resistant Packaging Case

Release Date: December 01, 1994

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Chattem Inc. (Chattem) announced today that they have reached a settlement regarding Chattem's packaging of one of its over-the-counter drugs known as ""Pamprin."" The settlement resolves a disagreement between Chattem and CPSC concerning whether Pamprin has been offered in child-resistant ""popular size packages"" within the meaning of the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA).

Under the terms of the agreement, Chattem will convert all of its 24-count and 16-count Pamprin products, which are currently marketed in packaging that is not child-resistant, to packaging that is child-resistant. The conversion process will be completed by July 1995. The agreement also preserves Chattem's right under the PPPA to offer to the public a single size of each Pamprin product in packaging that is not child-resistant.

Pamprin products are marketed to relieve symptoms associated with menstruation, typically experienced by women of child-bearing age. Because the products contain more than one gram of acetaminophen per package, CPSC regulations require child-resistant packaging for the popular size packages of this medication. The PPPA also permits manufacturers to supply one size of each regulated product in regular (non-child-resistant) packaging for consumers who are unable to use the child-resistant versions.

Chattem produced 12 and 48-count sizes of Maximum Strength Pamprin Tablets, a 48-count size of Maximum Strength Pamprin Caplets, and a 32-count size of Pamprin Pain Relief Caplets in child-resistant packaging. However, because each of these sizes constituted substantially less than a majority of the total annual sales of each respective Pamprin product, CPSC contended that they did not qualify as "popular size packages" as required by the PPPA. CPSC initiated administrative proceedings to require Chattem to alter its packaging practices. Chattem denied that its practices violated the PPPA, but after Judge Daniel J. Davidson issued a ruling agreeing with the CPSC's interpretation of the statutory term "popular size packages," Chattem and CPSC entered into a settlement that resolves all of the allegations in the CPSC complaint.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

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