• Post author:
  • Post category:News

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission exists, according to its website, for the purpose of “protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction.” This includes anything that might pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard, as well as household products like cribs and power tools that can lead to terrible injuries or death when used incorrectly. The jurisdiction of the CPSC even extends to the packaging of pharmaceutical medications.

At the end of July, the CPSC announced that Novel Laboratories was recalling its Zolpidem Tartrate blister packs. The problem didn’t rest with the medication itself, but rather with the child-resistant closure requirement dictated by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act. According to the CPSC, the Zolpidem Tartrate would have poisoned a child if it was accidentally swallowed in its packaging. Novel Laboratories was determined to process the recall proactively, before any incidents or injuries were even reported. The recall ultimately affected 5,700 boxes of the product.

Zolpidem Tartrate is a sublingual prescription sleep drug available in 1.75 and 3.5 mg doses. It can be found nationwide in stores like Wegmans, Kroger, Walgreens, Costco, and CVS. The drug’s recall highlights a critical priority within the pharmaceutical packaging industry: child safety. Packaging is carefully designed to meet many purposes, including durability during transportation, protection from the elements, attraction to customers, and, of course, safety when accidentally in the hands of curious children.

This incident with Novel Laboratories proves that the Poison Prevention Packaging Act is doing its job of enforcing reliably safe packaging, but also reminds us that mistakes are always possible and must be avoided with nothing but the highest level of care.