House Approves Making Some Cold Medicines Prescription-Only

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The Mississippi House has approved a bill to require a doctor's prescription to purchase cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the illegal drug methamphetamine.

The measure was passed 105-15 after lengthy debate that included some lawmakers discussing how the escalating meth problem had impacted their families.

Under the bill, consumers would need a doctor's prescription to buy Sudafed and other medicine containing pseudoephedrine, a decongestant.

Supporters say the measure will curtail meth production by limiting accessibility to the main ingredient.

Opponents have said the change would be burdensome. They also contend that meth addicts will simply travel across state lines to buy the cold medicine.

“I appreciate the House of Representatives passing legislation that will make pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient to making meth, available only by prescription," said Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant. "The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics reports there were 560 meth labs seized in 2009. I believe with this sweeping legislation you will see a downward trend of meth use and production in our state. I look forward to bringing this legislation to the floor of the Senate as soon as possible.”

Earlier, Bryant said he asked the Mississippi Independent Pharmacists Association to provide a list of those drugs that would be affected by the legislation and those products that will continue to be available on the shelf without the need for a prescription.

Pseudoephedrine products found in a typical retail pharmacy that would require a prescription if made a Schedule III Drug:

1. Advil Cold and Sinus
2. Aleve D
3. Bronkaid
4. Claritin D
5. Mucinex D
6. Nyquil D
7. Primatene
8. Sudafed
9. Tylenol Sinus Severe Cold
10. Zyrtec D

These products would not require a prescription:

1. Tylenol Sinus Congestion and Pain
2. Tylenol Sinus Day/Night
3. Comtrex Cold & Cough Night
4. Alka Seltzer Plus Cold & Cough
5. Alka Seltzer Plus Night Cold
6. Dayquil Cold & Flu
7. Mucus Relief Sinus ( generic Mucinex D)
8. Theraflu Severe Cough/Cold
9. Theraflu Severe Day & Night
10. Theraflu Flu & Sore Throat
11. Sinutab
12. Sine Off Multi Symptom
13. Sine Off Sinus/Cold
14. Sine Off Max Strength
15. Comtrex Severe Cold & Sinus
16. Contac Cold & Flu
17. Tylenol Cold Multi Symptom Severe
18. Dristan Cold
19. Sudafed PE Sinus Headache
20. Sudafed PE Nasal Decongestant
21. Sudafed PE Severe Cold
22. Theraflu Multi Symptom
23. Zicam Multi Symptom Cold & Flu
24. Robitussin Night

(Source: Independent Pharmacist Association)