For years I’ve only purchased big brand names of ibuprofen and cough/cold medicine for my gluten-free daughter, because I couldn’t guarantee the generic, store brand version sitting right next to the big name brand  (and  about a third less in cost) was gluten-free.  Now it appears that’s about to change — in a bold way.

In a news release Monday, the Perrigo company says it will begin labeling gluten-free products appropriately beginning in January of 2010!  Wow!  Those Sunday 2:00 a.m. trips to my local 24-hour drug or grocery store looking for a pain reliever for my feverish child may not be so bad.  Now I’ll actually be able to find out a medicine’s gluten-free status — right there in aisle 9!  “Now, consumers will be able to identify whether a Perrigo-supplied product is “gluten-free” simply by reading the product label,” the Perrigo news release said.

Perrigo is the “world’s largest manufacturer of OTC [over-the-counter] pharmaceutical products for the store brand market.” It certainly is showing it’s progressive side by not only adding the gluten-free label, but also putting together a plan to ensure gluten-free claim on the medicines is true; which is a bit reassuring:

“To support the gluten-free labeling initiative, Perrigo has instituted a gluten-free assurance program. Perrigo’s program is based on the acceptable thresholds of gluten (less than 20 parts per million) identified by the FDA for the food industry. It is comprised of a gluten testing methodology for raw materials and products, as well as ongoing quality assurance for ingredient and formula changes.”

The Perrigo website doesn’t list which companies it prepares store-brand OTC medicines for, but it did briefly make mention of WalMart, Walgreens and Kroger as big name examples on one of the company’s web pages.  So you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled at your local store.

But in the meantime, this appears to be the list of generics they create. I can’t wait to check them out!

As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).