LOS ANGELES – Triaminic medicines endanger children’s health, and Novartis pushes the over-the-counter drugs though it knows they are ineffective and dangerous, says a class-action lawsuit. The federal complaint cites a range of studies, including one by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found more than 1,500 children younger than 2 had fallen seriously ill between 2004 and 2005 after taking cough and cold medicine.
Novartis dubbed its line of drugs “The Medicine of Motherhood,” and made “hundreds of millions of dollars in profits” despite knowing of the drugs’ dangers, the suit states. It states that “in October of 2007 an FDA Advisory Panel recommended a ban on all over-the-counter cough and cold medications for children under the age of six.”
It cites a recent FDA report that linked over-the-counter cough and cold medications with 123 pediatric deaths between 1969 and 2006. It cites a 2004 study from the Penn State College of Medicine that found that “common ingredients in children’s over-the-counter cough and cold medications were less effective than a placebo at reducing nighttime cough or improving sleep quality.”
A 1994 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reported researchers’ estimates that more than one-third of American 3-year-olds were given cough and cold medicine during one 30-day period.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals continued to market the its “toddler formulas” to 2- and 3-year-olds even after federal officials issued a recall of all cold and flu medicines containing Triaminic’s active ingredient, according to the lawsuit.
Reports that children were having seizures after chewing on peeled-off Triaminic Vapor Patches forced another recall.