CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Mineral County delegate is on the side of those opposing a proposal to require prescriptions for medicines containing pseudoephedrine in West Virginia

“Making it a prescription for everybody hurts the average citizen and that’s not what we’re here for,” said Delegate Gary Howell (R-Mineral, 56) on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Delegate Don Perdue (D-Wayne, 19), House Health and Human Resources Chairman, is planning to again introduce legislation next year that would require prescriptions for medications that contain what is a key ingredient in meth.

Those medicines are now available over the counter, but state law limits the quantities one person can buy within specified time frames .

Howell said it would make more sense to require such prescriptions for the medications only for people who have already been convicted of drug crimes.

“If we want to do something about drunk driving, we don’t make it harder for sober people to buy cars, we go after the drunks.  We need to go after the meth producers, not the law abiding citizens,” said Howell.

Bridget Lambert, West Virginia Retailers Association president, said she thinks the NPLEx system, the National Precursor Log Exchange which tracks pseudoephedrine sales in real time, needs more time to work before changes are made.

NPLEx was implemented in January and Lambert said, so far, it has blocked illegal sales of more than 9,900 boxes of pseudoephedrine.

“We have some stores that are so large that, by the time a person is pushed and put into the system, we can refuse to sell Sudafed.  We can say, ‘You’ve reached your limit for this month or this year,'” said Lambert.

The 2014 Regular Legislative Session begins in January.

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  • george

    Here goes the Dems again--they follow Obama's train in making sure the Government controls your rights......Mr Purdue needs to work for Oliver Luck beer sales are profitable at Mountaineer Field but have ruined the family atmosphere at our football games...I don't care what they say ,,I had never seen so many drunk kids and beer bottles in my entire life as last year when we attended a football game.......Now Mr Purdue thinks that a prescription will eliminate the problem with stupid meth users stopping their habit.....

  • longbeards

    I have sinus issues,,,3 or 4 times a year. I do not abuse medicine, and find it a real hassle and expense to have to go to a doctor twice a year to get a prescription for Clarion. Put the meth users on a list,,,prohibit their access but don't prohibit mine!!

  • Neal

    Yeah and it's about time our counties start enforcing drug laws and prosecuting these low life drug users/dealers. I would much much rather our government spend more money to incarcerate drug users than to simply throw up their hands and say "we can't afford to put you in jail so go ahead and break the law and waste your brain away on drugs". Real smart. You sound like one of those people who want legalize drugs and just give up the fight because the fight is too hard and expensive. Count me out. And if the laws aren't doing the job to curtail drug use then the penalties need to be strengthened. I worry enough about drunk drivers slamming into me , I don't need to add wasted drivers to the list.

    • Barry

      Not sure how you got that from my comment. I am all for fighting drugs in our community and I don't care if they lock these people up and throw away the key. I just think regulating the key ingredient to the production of meth makes sense when their are plenty of viable alternatives that the medical community agree works just as well as pseudo. Fight the symptom sure, but if you ever want to get ahead of this epidemic you must take steps to eradicate the underlying issue. People always complain that WV is behind the times but in this case seem to be against something that has proven effective in other states. Oh and for the record, the original bill that passed the house and died on a tie vote in the senate was sponsored by a republican and had strong bipartisan support. Fighting drugs should not be a partisan issue.

  • Luke

    I don't know about your children Barry but mine aren't dying or being put in dangerous situations daily because Advil and substances like it are available over the counter.

    If your children are having a problem then I suggest you deal with it.

    Howell only sort of opposes the proposed legislation. He is as big a hall monitor as Perdue.

    Our state has serious economic problems which require serious people to address them, not a bunch of misguided and over indulged politicians who want to tell us how to live every little aspect of every day life.

  • Neal

    By your reasoning, why have any prescription laws at all then? The whole reason to require a prescription for some drugs is to prevent someone from abusing the drug and/or becoming addicted to it, which is exactly what is being done with pseodoephedrine in the making of the meth drug. If pseodoephedrine doesn't deserve a prescription law then I don't know what does!!

  • Joe

    Are there any direct connections or relationships from any of our
    U.S. House of Rep or Senate members to any pharma company or the drug industry in general?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Dewey Norman

    Make it rx and maybe my insurance will pay for my claridin d like it used to. people who use meth will always find a way to get it.

  • Shawn

    Why is it that Dems want to regulate everything except abortion clinics?

    • David

      I suppose for the same reason Repubs want to regulate nothing 'but' abortion clinics.

  • Barry

    I wonder how many contributions Gary Howell has received from the drug industry? Lets look at the facts: Doctors have testified that pseudoephedrine is actually a very dangerous drug. Doctors have testified that there are multiple over the counter alternatives that have the same effect. Our communities are being overrun with the meth epidemic. Our children are dying and being placed in dangerous situations daily. Law enforcement agencies all over the state have spoken out in favor of this legislation. The original bill was sponsored by a democrat physician in the legislature and a republican pharmacist in the legislature. The bill died on a tie vote in the senate only when the son of a prominent senator was retained by the drug lobby to pull favors on their behalf. Now what about local community budgets?? Schools, roads and parks are being neglected because counties cannot afford to pay the cost of incarcerating the increasing number of criminals involved in making meth. Property values are decreasing as homes with meth labs get condemned. Oh, did I forget to mention that our Governor has remained relatively silent on the subject. He will conduct drug task force meetings all over the state, but won't state his position on legislation that could stop the growing epidemic that is quickly destroying our communities. Appears that being a servant to the big contributing drug makers knows no party lines!

    • MysteriousWhispers

      Meth kills. First time offenders caught making, should be treated as murders and sentenced as such! Are they not terrorist? Do they not kill or harm numerous people?
      As for the Government, its been broke for years. State by state needs to handle the problem because those white house senators dont serve the people but lobbyist!