Drug Companies May Be Scamming Consumers With “Maximum Strength” Cold Medicines


Well, right now we’re officially pretty much
in the middle of cold and flu season here in the United States and as such, people are
turning to over the counter remedies to try to shorten their colds, keep their kids feeling
better and just overall make sure that they can make it through this season without being
run down with a bad cold or flu. But some of these over the counter medicines
are not quite what they appear to be, and I’m joined now by Scott Hardy from topclassactions.com
to explain what’s happening. Scott, great piece, topclassactions.com talking
about this Robitussin class action. Explain what this case is about. Well, it’s, it’s really funny because this
article at face value is not something like, oh, it’s a cough medicine class action move
on. But this is a huge case because what it talks
about is that the makers of Robitussin release their cough medicine, their “maximum strength
cough medicine” and called it maximum strength cost medicine when in fact they lowered the
amount of active ingredients in this cough medicine. So it’s doesn’t even have the amount of active
ingredients as, as their regular Robitussin cough medicine does and they are charging
more for the maximum strength cough medicine. And so you’ve cut the, the pharmaceutical
manufacturer, Pfizer who actually owns Robitussin. Pfizer knowingly did this. This wasn’t an accidental, oh, we didn’t know
that it wasn’t maximum strength. Sorry about that. Oh no. They knew what they were doing and they intentionally
decreased the number of active ingredients within this cough medicine, which is exactly
why class actions are here to fight against things like these. So this will be really interesting to watch,
especially when you’ve got a, a huge class action firm leading the plaintiffs in Hagens
Berman. So, this will have grand implications I think
across all cold cough medicine relief because I personally, when I get sick, I go into the
store, I buy the maximum strength because I want to get better. And now we’re finding out that Pfizer might
be selling cough medicine that in fact isn’t maximum strength and I could save money if
I went to their regular cough medicine. That’s just disappointing and really, really
sad on Pfizer’s part. Exactly, and you know, I’m the same way. Anytime I get any kind of cold or anything,
I always go right for the maximum strength. I want to knock this thing out as fast as
possible and I think most people are like that too. If you have to spend $2 or $3 more, you know,
for this maximum strength, we’re willing to do it because this is basically telling us
you’re going to get better faster if you take this maximum strength. And as you pointed out, this was a plan by
Pfizer to gradually decrease the amount of active ingredients and the lawsuit, according
to the lawsuit, it actually had a name, a project name. This was called Project Accelerate by lowering
the active ingredients was called Project Accelerate. So this was a plan. This was something they knew they were doing. I’m sure there’s documents that back all of
this up as you know, any pharmaceutical case, there’s always the bad documents, you know,
the hot documents that tell the story pretty much completely. And I think this Project Accelerate, is probably
going to be exhibit A in these lawsuits because it shows that this company was systemically
doing this while still charging people, still labeling it as maximum strength but not even
having as much active ingredients as the regular strength sitting on the store shelf right
next to it. Exactly, and with Hagens Berman going after
Pfizer for this case, you can be guaranteed that they’re issuing subpoenas for all of
these Project Accelerate our profits as we might want to call it. The, for Project Accelerate, our profits with
Pfizer. What other products were included in that? I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have just been
a Robitussin maximum strength. And so we could see a number of other class
actions get filed over the coming months as that discovery happens, as we find out what
other products were impacted. And you know, it wouldn’t be surprising at
all to see Pfizer start taking some products off the shelf in preparation for it or actively
changing the labels. So when they do get hit with eventual class
actions, if there are more out there, you know, I don’t know, maybe this was the only
product that was effected by Project Accelerate our profits by Pfizer, but if it wasn’t then
we’re going to see a lot more class actions filed by Hagens Berman in the coming months
and we’re hopefully going to see better labeling and better controls over what these pharmaceutical
companies can call their cough medicines, cold medicines or cough syrups. So when we go in and try to get a maximum
strength medicine, we’re actually getting it. We’re not getting something that was intentionally
weakened so they can maximize their profits. Right, and in the meantime, what consumers
need to do is if you’re going into, you know, the drug store, big box store, grocery store,
whatever it is to look for cough or cold medicine, make sure you sit there, check out the labels,
compare the labels. You know, make sure this one has the same
active ingredients as this one and if it’s maximum strength that it has more of the active
ingredients as the regular strength. Arm yourself with this knowledge. Don’t feel bad if you feel like you’re kind
of taking up space in that aisle and people are trying to get around you. You have to protect yourself from some of
these scams that corporations are running. Take a few minutes out of your time, do this,
check those labels and make sure you’re protecting yourself, but if you have purchased this Robitussin
maximum strength or really any others, I suggest you follow the link in the description of
this video. Go to topclassactions.com. Find out more and find out what you need to
do and while you’re there, subscribe to their newsletter so you can stay on top of all of
these issues that are so important to American consumers. Scott Hardy, topclassactions.com. Thank you for joining us today. Thanks Farron, appreciate it.

49 thoughts on “Drug Companies May Be Scamming Consumers With “Maximum Strength” Cold Medicines

  1. Robitussin's ONLY maximum strength once you down a whole bottle, then you're too high worrying about other things besides your cough.

  2. I grew up in the 80's and I remember Nyquil and Robitussen would knock you out no longer than 30 minutes after you took it.

  3. How about don't buy any, they admit there is no cure for the commen cold, your just weakening your system, so the sickness lingers and they make more money. If it worked you wouldn't be able to put less of the active ingredients in, people would know after a couple days. It dosnt work. I stoped doing that crap a long time ago, and when I do get sick it's over in a day or two.

  4. This isnt anything new. It's all marketing. I remember my ex husbands late mother…an RN specializing in trauma… and the "prescription," she would recommend to me when I was sick. Simple household ingredients most people have. When I had pneumonia she told me to take a shot of brandy mix it with a 16oz bottle of grapefruit juice and drink that while taking aspirin. The Vitamin C helped my immune system. Brandy made me sleep, and aspirin helped the body aches. No zpac I had for the flu worked better

  5. What about the fact that those cold medicines only treat symptoms and do nothing to actually shorten the duration of your cold?

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  7. I am not surprised. My father was a doctor and he would often tell me to exceed the recommended dosage on OTC meds. They are very watered down to begin with, and the "maximum strength" is often a joke.

  8. Several years ago, I began looking at the specific active ingredients and the amounts of them in all over the counter medications, ointments, nasal sprays etc because of their potential reactions with my prescription medications. I discovered that very often the dosages of active ingredients in medications that treat the same symptoms were exactly the same regardless of what they called it. I found that this applies to cold and flu medications, hydrocortizone creams, nasal spray, antibiotic ointments. The only difference I found was that often the pill, capsule, get cap would be a different size. In some brands the " maximum strength doses were bigger (more filler per dose) and in some they were smaller than the standard dose (less filler per dose) . I also noticed that in similar drugs made by different brands the amount of active ingredients in each "level" of dosing could vary widely. This meant that what was "maximum strength" "severe cold" etc in one brand was "regular strength" in another. Which means if you want the most bang for your buck, you have to take the time in the drug store to really analyze the active ingredients, pull size, qty in each package and the cost to get the best deal. As I was looking at all of these labels, it occurred to me that these drug manufacturers were purposefully making the names on the packaging and the labeling of active ingredients convoluted because they know that no one with the flu or a sick child is going to take the time to compare all of the different labels and scrutinize the active ingredients. They are hedging their bets that you just read the front labels, snag the box and make a beeline to the register with your cold meds, nasal spray and box of tissues. This doesn't even get into all of the "OTC" medications now kept behind the pharmacy counter where you can't actually diligently scrutinize the packaging without bothering the pharmacist who is already super busy. They just want to take the card you grab off the rack, scan your ID and check you out without ever giving you the chance to actually look at the box. At the pharmacies in my town, the little rack cards are just a duplicate of the front label of the box so you cant even look at the active ingredients without holding up the pharmacy line full of other sick people. So much of this feels like they are taking advantage of people when they feel their worst

  9. Just another scam alongside:
    "New Recipe" = we reduced the costly ingredients.
    "New Size" = Smaller
    "Full of Goodness" "goodness" = BS

  10. Perhaps here, "maximum strength" refers only to the over the counter, without prescription version.
    Perhaps it's "regular strength" prescription only version is stronger than the "maximum strength" over-the-counter version.
    Now that would make sense to me.
    .

  11. Drug companies will take two or more generic drugs which are very cheap like dextromethorphan and combined them give them a fancy name and charge extreme amounts of money for the struggles that weCan buy separately ourselves and far far cheaper when I was doing nursing as a living I used to warn my patients about this

  12. I am always having arguments with people who insist on buying the branded products they see advertised which have exactly the same ingredients as the generic products which are usually cheaper. Cough and cold remedies and painkillers are the usual culprits. Tylenol is still acetaminophen at the end of the day.

  13. The best medication when you are sick is water, lots and lots and lots of water, more water than you'd normally drink, it helps to flush the virus or bacteria out of your system much quicker than any other "medication". If you're not using the bathroom twice an hour, you're not drinking enough water, when you're sick.

  14. May be?. They always do. They don't make money with healthy people. The drugs they sell only relief s few symtoms that's why you have to take more to fell better, but they don't care you. You only feel better.

  15. ALL cold medicine is a scam. Every time I take some, my cough actually gets worse!!!!!! Every time. No matter what it is. It happened to me today. I am beyond angry right now.

  16. This is why small government is not always a good thing, especially when BIg Pharma buys off most of the elected officials within it.

    You need a governing body to enforce regulation, otherwise America will inevitably be back to full-on snake oil salesmen and an every man for himself mentality.

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