3/20/02 - FDA Says No to a New Cold Pill

A a new cold pill may never make it to the shelves.

We told you Tuesday how Picovir was under review by the FDA. An advisory panel said the cold pill isn't safe enough for general use. It found that Picovir reduces the effectiveness of birth control pills, and because it directly attacks the cold virus, may cause more dangerous infections, like meningitis, to mutate.

Makers of Picovir say the drug could shorten a cold's duration, and the severity of the symptoms, but the FDA says those benefits don't outweigh the risks.

The panel decided unanimously against approving the drug. The FDA doesn't have to follow it's advice, but it usually does. A final decision should be made by Summer.