Sunday, May 18, 2014

Actavis Pulls The Plug on Promethazine Codeine

Actavis, an Ireland-based pharmaceutical company, recently responded to a moral dilemma they company was facing.  One of its over-the-counter cough remedies, Promethazine Codeine, was gaining unprecedented popularity (and revenues to match) but for reasons they did not intend.  When mixed with Sprite and Jolly Ranchers candy and served on ice, the drug was the main course in a concoction affectionately referred to as "lean," "Sizzurp" or "purple drank" in the trendsetting world of hip hop.

Although abuse of Promethazine Codine can be traced back to the 1960s and has been an open secret for over a decade, it's good to see Actavis finally take a stand against the abuse of promethazine with codeine by removing it store shelves and permanently stopping production.

According to an Actavis representative, "Given [recent media attention], Actavis has made the bold and unprecedented decision to cease all production and sales of its Promethazine Codeine product. This attention has glamorized the unlawful and dangerous use of the product, which is contrary to its approved indication."

I give the company a lot of credit for ultimately making the right decision and not deflecting accountability for the problem to consumers.  It would be very easy for Actavis to line its pockets while it maintain that it's the consumers responsibility to read and adhere all instructions and warning labels, despite full knowledge of the contrary reality.

Sadly, Actavis' own words, "bold and unprecedented" seem a little too.  Its corporate accountability in this case is something truly newsworthy.

As always, thank you for reading and for sharing.

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