The Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Hal Rogers, on Monday called on Urban Outfitters to stop selling products designed to look like prescription pill bottles, the Associated Press reports.
In a letter to company President and CEO Richard Hayne, Rogers wrote, “For a company with sales of $2.79 billion in 2012 to trivialize the pain and suffering of those struggling with addiction is tasteless at best, but irresponsible at worst.” He said he is concerned sales of the flasks, shot glasses and pint glasses could lead to an increase in overdose deaths from prescription drugs.
“While I understand that your company’s business model is predicated on the sale of controversial products, I believe marketing products to young people with an explicit allusion to the misuse of prescription medicines is simply a bridge too far,” wrote Rogers, co-founder of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse.
Urban Outfitters did not respond to a phone call and email seeking comment, the AP noted.
Last week, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids urged people to write or email Hayne, or sign a Facebook petition calling on Urban Outfitters to remove the products from its stores and website. “Combined with alcohol, the misuse and abuse of prescription medications can be especially dangerous, making the Urban Outfitter Rx pint and shot glasses and flasks even more disturbing,” the organization noted. “Tongue-in-cheek products that normalize and promote prescription drug abuse only serve to reinforce the misperception about the dangers associated with abusing medicine and put more teens at risk.”