Governor Poised to Sign 'Meth' Bill

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

It appears a bill will be signed that will have a major impact on cold sufferers in Mississippi.

The House and Senate have both passed a bill making pseudoephedrine available only by prescription. Gov. Haley Barbour has said he'll sign the measure.

Pseudoephedrine is the main ingredient in the illegal drug methamphetamine.. Officials say they hope it will slow the manufacture of meth. But that could come at a price for consumers.

For years the pharmacist has been the gate keeper when it comes to regulating who buys pseudoephedrine cold products.

"It will definitely make it easier on the pharmacists," said Leslie Hull, pharmacist and owner of Medicap Pharmacy in Meridian. "The person buying it behind the counter has to get out a driver's license, give over life history, and put it in the computer. And by doing it by prescription it will be just a normal prescription."

Hull said it will also be more effective in keeping the drug out of the wrong hands.

"It will be a lot easier to track by prescriptions than just sold in pharmacies, than grocery stories and truck stops," said Hull. "Even if they were following the law and getting the information there just was no centralized data collection avenue there. Which there will be in the pharmacy."

But for you the customer just trying to get relief from a pesky cold, Hull says there are other over the counter products out there with phenylephrine as the main ingredient. Those products aren't as strong, but do work for many.

"Not quite as rapid a heart rate like you see with the pseudoephedrine. Phenylephrine doesn't seem to change their blood pressure as much," Hull said.

As for pharmacists, Hull said he doesn't believe it will affect business. Instead Hull believes many of the psaudoephedrine based products will be reformulated so they can actually go back on the shelves.

"They just reformulate, took the pseudoephedrine out and put the phenylephrine in. I don't think it will be a big cost increase like some are panicking about," said Hull.

If Gov. Barbour signs the legislation, it would go into effect
July 1.

A recent study found that about four percent of Mississippi's population has used meth. It makes up about 12% of all the state's drug cases, and about 6% of all the treatment center admissions in the state.

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  • by Anonymous on Feb 10, 2010 at 06:04 PM
    You are so correct Bill. That is EXACTLY what the drug dealers will do. And if AL passes the same law, they will go somewhere else. Anyone who thinks this will curtail meth dealers must still believe in Santa Claus.
  • by bill Location: meridian on Feb 9, 2010 at 02:04 PM
    just go over to alabama
  • by william Location: lauderdale on Feb 9, 2010 at 02:01 PM
    will the state of mississippi pick up the extry cost
  • by sigh... Location: Meridian on Feb 9, 2010 at 01:07 PM
    I don't even take medicine, if I can help it, and even I know this is wrong. Terrible, terrible news.
  • by shely Location: meridian on Feb 9, 2010 at 01:05 PM
    I really hate that I won't be able to buy these cold medicines over the counter, but if it will truly help eliminate some of the meth production in our area, I'll suffer. I think whatever it takes to curtail the manufacturing of meth we should all be behind it. The problem affects us all in some way, hopefully they will look at other iniatives to combat this monumental problem.
  • by itsabouttime on Feb 9, 2010 at 11:48 AM
    this is great!!!!behind the counter did not showed id and could get it,and then go to the next store and do the same and the next and the next,get the did not work.they did not know how many stores theY bought from in a day,there was no way to tell.....THIS BILL WILL HELP A LOT MORE THAN IT HURTS....
  • by Monica Location: Mississippi on Feb 9, 2010 at 11:05 AM
    So, those of us that do not have insurance will suffer AGAIN! I buy over the counter meds because I can't afford to go to the Dr., pay the office fee & get an rx! But now I won't even be able to do that. I thought that by giving the pharmasict the card for the meds, plus our drivers license was supposed to help. Wasn't all of that information going into a federal database to find out who was buying this stuff & making meth? What's so hard about doing a search on that database & finding the abusers? I don't think an rx will help! The meth makers will still be buying it from the same people that sell them their OTHER illegal drugs. It's ridiculous to make the poor suffer even more. Where are these lawmakers BRAINS??
  • by BobT. Location: Clarke Co. on Feb 9, 2010 at 10:07 AM
    There are those who are far worse than methamphetamine abusers and they are those that abuse their positions in government! Those that pass laws contrary to what the citizens who elected them want or need. Those who take it upon themselves and say "Yes sir, this will solve our meth problem!" I tell you, their arrogance, or should we say, IGNORANCE, will be their downfall!!
  • by RedLine Citizen Location: Meridian on Feb 9, 2010 at 07:06 AM
    I feel that if the owner of the Medicap Drug Store is to lazy to get product from behind the counter, then he needs to close his doors. I guess he does not ask for ID on other controlled medicines. Yeah, there are other medicines, but the work slower. So now I have to drive 20 mins to Alabama to get cold medicine. I hope none of the meth producers gets this idea!!!!! Can the law makers find something better to do with there time, like making new laws to get industry to locate in MS. Laws that will bring MS from being one of the poorest states in the United states.
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