Company’s over-the-counter (OTC) medications will now feature gluten-free labeling.
NFCA is excited to hear that The Perrigo Company (www.perrigo.com) has taken the initiative to institute a “gluten-free assurance program,” which will empower consumers with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about Perrigo’s over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
Beginning in January 2010, Perrigo will indicate the gluten-free status of the more than 200 products the company manufacturers directly on the product label. To date, consumers could only verify the gluten-free status of Perrigo products by calling the company directly.
Perrigo is a major manufacturer of generic over-the-counter medications for some of the major drug store chains including Wal-Mart and Walgreens. Brand names of some of the OTC medications that they manufacturer include Tylenol®, Claritin® and NyQuil®.
Perrigo is using the threshold of 20 parts per million (ppm) to identify a product as gluten-free. To date the FDA has not defined gluten-free, leaving this area open for interpretation, but many anticipate the FDA to settle on 20ppm for the upper limit.
The launch of this program comes as consumer demand for gluten-free products continues to rise.
Perrigo’s Chairman and CEO Joseph C. Papa stated, “Our retail customers can continue to rely on Perrigo to pinpoint and act on consumer trends. This includes the growing list of individuals who need to know whether or not a product is gluten-free.”
Perrigo’s move to meet the needs of the growing celiac and gluten-free population is to be commended. NFCA hopes that other manufacturers of OTC and prescription medications will follow suit.
NFCA has been working with the pharmaceutical industry, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other related organizations for almost three years to advocate for the identification of gluten in medications for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
For information about Perrigo products and it’s “gluten-free assurance program”, visit their website.
To learn more about the NFCA’s efforts to advocate mandatory gluten-free labeling for prescription and over the counter medications, click here.