Three over-the-counter medicines branded under the PhysiciansCare label were recalled this month after packaging failed to meet child-resistant standards. Acme United Corporation announced the voluntary recall of some of its products on May 18, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The products being recalled are:

  • PhysiciansCare Allergy, 50 caplets, item No. 90036
  • PhysiciansCare Allergy Plus, 100 tablets, item No. 90091
  • PhysiciansCare Non-Drowsy Cold and Cough, 100 tablets, item No. 90092
  • PhysiciansCare Non-Drowsy Cold and Cough, 250 tablets, item No. 90033

Unit numbers can be found printed on the top right corner of the box. Consumers should store the recalled harmful products out of reach of children immediately.

Packaging Poses a Hazard to Children

About 2,400 units of the over-the-counter medicines were sold on Amazon between January 2021 and August 2022. The drugs were manufactured at the Acme United plants in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and Vancouver, Washington, according to the recall notice.

The products contain regulated substances diphenhydramine hydrochloride and acetaminophen. These require child-resistant packaging when being used in the household as required by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act, according to the CPSC.

“The packaging of the products is not child-resistant, posing a risk of poisoning if the contents are swallowed by young children,” the CPSC said.

The average selling price for the medicine is between $5 and $19. Consumers can contact Acme United for information on how to get a refund. 

There are no known quality issues with the pills, according to Acme. Products purchased for office or industrial use are not being recalled. Consumers who want to dispose of the unused medicine can find guidance from the FDA on its website.

Second Acme Recall in 14 months

This is the second time in just over a year that Acme United has issued a recall of one of its over-the-counter medicines because of packaging issues. In March 2022, about 165,000 units of another PhysiciansCare product were recalled because they lacked child-resistant packaging.

The products in that recall were sold on Amazon and the and included PhysiciansCare brand Aspirin, Extra Strength Non Aspirin, Extra Strength Pain Reliever, Ibuprofen, Medication Station and Multi-Pack. There were no injuries reported in that recall and no known issues with the quality of those pills.

What Is the Poison Prevention Packaging Act?

The Poison Prevention Packaging Act was made law in 1970 to reduce the unintentional poisoning caused by medications and common household products, according to the National Library of Medicine.

“The law’s primary goal is to ensure child safety by preventing accidental ingestion of harmful chemicals. The law states items such as prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, household chemicals, and other hazardous products must utilize child-resistant packaging,” according to the NLM. That means that packaging would keep any child, ages 5 and under, from easily accessing the product.

While the law has been successful at avoiding inadvertent prescription poisoning of children, it has also hindered the elderly and persons with disabilities from accessing their own medicines, the NLM states.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission was established in 1972, two years after the PPPA became law. It regulates roughly 15,000 types of consumer products in the U.S.