New Law Takes Effect July 1

Starting July 1, a doctor's prescription will be required to obtain medications that contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine.

The change was made in an effort to thwart the production of crystal methamphetamine, an illegal drug, which uses it as an ingredient.

But state officials also say it's a way to curb costs.

"This will affect most over-the-counter medications with a 'D' on it," said Dr. Olu Ransome-Kuti of greater Meridian Health Clinic. "So, you can still get alternatives without the 'D' that will probably work just as well."

State lawmakers say the reason for the new law is to try to eliminate the manufacturing and use of this illegal drug.

"In other states that have implemented this law, there has been a tremendous reduction in the number of meth labs and in the number of people that participate in this illegal activity," said state Rep. Wilbert Jones, of District 82. "It costs states millions of dollars to go in and to clean a meth lab at a house."

Although the new law allows the purchase of medications that contain pseudoephedrine and ephedrine with a prescription, it also has a limit in place in terms of how much of this medication a person can receive.

"It is going to be a schedule III non-narcotic medication, which is the same schedule as like Lortab, pain medication, even though Lortab isn't a narcotic," said Ashley Greenway, a pharmacist for Mr Discount Drugs. "it will be scheduled so you'll only be able to get a certain amount for a certain number of days."

The new law takes effect July 1st.

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