Bill Introduced To Restrict Sales of Products With Methamphetamine Ingredient
A bipartisan group of senators led by Sens. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Wednesday introduced a bill that would restrict the sale of products that contain pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient in methamphetamine, the Kansas City Star reports.
The legislation would require pharmacies and other retailers to place products that contain pseudoephedrine, an ingredient in many cold medications, behind counters rather than on shelves. In addition, the bill would require that customers provide identification and sign a form when they purchase products that contain pseudoephedrine. The legislation also would limit the amount of pseudoephedrine that customers could purchase over a 30-day period to nine grams, or about 300 30-milligram pills.
According to the Star, the legislation could force pharmacies to hire more clerks and install special counters and surveillance systems and require pharmacists to spend more time with customers. Lawmakers in about 26 states have introduced similar bills.
Talent said, "We've got to stop the meth cooks from buying them because if they can't buy them from the local stores, they can't make the stuff in our neighborhoods."
Ron Fitzwater, CEO of the Missouri Pharmacy Association, said, "On general principle, we're in support of what legislators are trying to do. We understand it's going to be an inconvenience to consumers and pharmacists, but we are in favor of any effort to make things better."
However, Elizabeth Assey of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association said, "Consumer access is key. Millions of Americans rely on decongestants to treat colds and allergies."
Public Citizen spokesperson Larry Sasich said that the bill could help reduce the use of products that contain pseudoephedrine, which he said can cause increased heart rate (Wenske/Stearns, Kansas City Star, 1/27).