On Halloween, it’s only fitting that we cover a story about kids and candy, right? According to a recent STAT News article, the FDA recently held a meeting to discuss the use of "candy-like" nonprescription drug products, including gummies and other forms, particularly for children who may have difficulty swallowing pills. The debate explored the potential benefits and risks associated with such products. Though there were arguments in favor of using medicated gummies for dental sedation in children, most speakers highlighted potential pitfalls, such as accidental overdose. Historically, there has been a 500% increase in pediatric overdoses linked to kid-friendly aspirin marketing, along with a rise in emergency room visits due to pediatric melatonin exposures.
Participants suggested various ways to reduce the risks of candy-like drug products for children, including improving child-resistant packaging, promoting unit dose packaging, and even prohibiting the production of products resembling specific types of candies or using fun designs on packaging. The FDA is in the early stages of understanding how to regulate these products, and there is a lack of clear definitions and research on consumer understanding. While no specific regulatory action was promised, the FDA acknowledged the feedback from the meeting and its potential impact on future regulations.