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Letter: Should pain killers taste like candy?

To The Editor:

Asking if pain killers should taste like candy seems like a ridiculous question doesn't it?

Until recently, every pain killer I have taken for my arthritis has not had a very good taste and I thought nothing of it. I bought a bottle of acetaminophen in a local drugstore with the store brand name Atoma. It is manufactured by Laboratoires Trianon Inc. As soon as I put it in my mouth I was shocked and then horrified to discover that it tasted as good as a candy. It is a round pill with a sweet red coating that reminds me of Skittles.

If a child gains access to a bottle of most other pain killers and puts one in their mouth, chances are they will spit it out because of the unpleasant taste. But one taste of these Atoma pills would encourage them to consume the entire bottle.

I have spoken to the manufacturer.

I was told that the reason they did this was due to the results of an opinion poll of Canadians by their marketing division. That we said yes, we would prefer a pill that tastes good. Who wouldn't? But why did no one consider the increased risk to children with this product?

This is completely unnecessary because we all know that an adults priority is pain relief, whether it tastes good or not. This sweet coating was approved by Health Canada after undergoing a "risk assessment". Canadians should never have been given this choice. 

Are we really so selfish that we are willing to purchase a product which increases the risk to our children just to avoid a little bit of unpleasantness?

Judy Galley, Sorrento, BC