AHS PharmStat

By:  The Redheaded Pharmacist

In an increasingly difficult battle to curb the production and sale of methamphetamine more and more states are considering legislation to convert the sale of pseudoephedrine (PSE) containing cold and cough products to prescription only status. But is this the right way to handle the meth problem in America? Do we have a choice anymore? And does legislation like this actually work to reduce the meth problem in states who already have Sudafed containing products prescription only?

Oregon was the first and for the longest time the only state to pass a law restricting the sale of PSE containing products to prescription only status. Their law went into effect back in 2006. According to law enforcement reports from that state the methamphetamine producing labs almost completely disappeared after their Rx-only law was enacted. Mississippi followed suit and passed a similar restriction this time last year. PSE containing products became prescription only as their new law went into effect last July and that state has already seen a dramatic decrease in meth labs.

Now there are several other states considering bills to join those two state and make PSE containing products prescription only. Kentucky Senate Bill 45 is a proposal to make PSE containing products prescription only. That state already has a MethCheck online database tracking the sale of OTC Sudafed products. In the State of Kansas there is bill HB 2098 to switch the status of PSE containing products in that state to Rx-only. These states are looking to Oregon as the model for how to deal with the problem.

And then there is the State of Tennessee. On the heels of a record 2000 plus meth lab busts by that state’s law enforcement officers in 2010 alone the state is considering several different proposals including making PSE products prescription only. But not everyone is in agreement that making PSE prescription only is the right move. While the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is in favor of legislation to make cold and cough products that contain PSE Rx-only the Tennessee Pharmacists Association is opposed to making PSE prescription only. Despite the disagreement on the action that needs to be taken everyone in that state seems to agree that something needs to be done!

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