Groups Oppose Prescription Requirement

By: Ashley Conroy
By: Ashley Conroy

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would require a prescription to obtain medicines containing pseudoephedrine.

It's a key ingredient to make crystal methamphetamine. And it has become a major problem for law enforcement around the state. But some groups are not happy with this bill.

Stopmethnotmeds.com is a Web site created in light of recent legislation to make pseudoephedrine products illegal to purchase without a prescription.

"Our concern is that if you put this product on prescription status only, you'll actually lose control of sales," said Andrew Fish, senior vice-president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

Those against the bill say tracking down meth makers electronically, rather than taking away drugs that consumers need, is a better solution to Mississippi's legislation.

"Which basically records every sale that's made, blocks illegal sales and keeps a database that law enforcement can use," Fish said.

Sudafed contains phenlyephrine as opposed to pseudoephedrine. And to anyone purchasing this decongestant, they may never know the difference.

Phenylephrine is an alternative to pseudoephedrine in over-the-counter drugs. Pharmacist Ryan Harper supports this legislation, and says other drugs are just as effective as those with pseudoephedrine.

"We have plenty of alternatives, over-the-counter decongestants like phenlyephrine. There's also nasal decongestants and sprays people can use for a short period of time," said Harper who works at a drug store in Brandon.

Harper says he thinks, with meth becoming more of a problem throughout the state, something needs to be done sooner rather than later.

"With methamphetamine becoming such an epidemic right now in Mississippi, this would certainly curtail the availability of it to be made into the crystal meth," Harper said.

The bill has already passed in the Mississippi House. It's being discussed on the Senate floor Tuesday.


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