Senate Approves Bill To Limit Cold Medication Sales To Combat Meth Production
The Senate on Friday passed legislation (S 103) that would limit sales of over-the-counter cold medications that contain pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, the AP/Modesto Bee reports (AP/Modesto Bee, 9/9). The Senate approved the bill by voice vote as an amendment to the fiscal year 2006 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill (HR 2862). The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Jim Talent (R-Mo.), would limit the sale of medications that contain pseudoephedrine to 7.5 grams, or about 250 30-milligram pills, per 30 days (CQ HealthBeat, 9/9).
Under the bill, customers would have to present a photo ID and sign a log to purchase such medications (California Healthline, 7/29). The legislation also would require retailers to move such medications behind the counter. The bill would allow retailers without pharmacies to continue to sell such medications, provided that they adhere to new regulations that each state would have to develop in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The legislation includes an exception for single-dose sales of such medications in airports. In addition, the bill would allow states and localities to enact stricter limits on sales of such medications than the federal legislation would implement (CQ HealthBeat, 9/9).
Talent said, "This is a great day for those threatened by meth" (CongressDaily, 9/9).
Feinstein said, "This vote demonstrates a sea change with respect to methamphetamine and shows an understanding of how dramatically this drug affects people" (Epstein, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/10).
House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) has introduced similar legislation (HR 314), but lawmakers likely will consider the Senate version in conference committee on the larger appropriations bill (CQ HealthBeat, 9/9).
"KPBS News" on Friday reported on the Senate's approval of the bill. The segment includes comments from Scott Gerber, Feinstein's spokesperson (Goldberg, "KPBS News," KPBS, 9/9). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.