CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Several cold medications solely containing pseudoephedrine, a key meth ingredient, are no longer being sold at Rite Aid stores in West Virginia.
The company has pulled those medicines, but is continuing to sell medications which contain pseudephedrine in combination with other ingredients.
“There’s no way that you could argue with them making that move,” said Delegate Don Perdue (D-Wayne, 19).
“(But) I would be much more impressed if it was a positive move they were making in every state of the nation and that’s not what they’re doing. They’re responding to a situation in West Virginia.”
Perdue, a retired pharmacist and chairman of the House Health Committee, was a guest on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
At the State House in recent years, he has lead unsuccessful attempts to require prescriptions for medications containing pseudoephedrine and promised he will again introduce legislation to make the change when the 2014 Legislative Session begins in January.
Perdue said meth making creates a number of dangers in West Virginia’s communities that go beyond the drug users.
“We’re not talking about stopping, necessarily, people from using meth. What we’re talking about is production in these labs which are highly toxic and, if you can do that, then isn’t that a public health issue? Public health, in the normal vein of thought, trumps almost every other kind of argument ,” said Perdue.
According to NPLEx, the electronic tracking system for pseudoephedrine sales, Rite Aid is among the top sellers of medicines containing pseudoephedrine in West Virginia. Records showed three Rite Aid stores in Kanawha County were among the state’s top 10 for pseudoephedrine sales.
There are more than 100 total Rite Aid stores in West Virginia.
Back in August, officials with Fruth Pharmacy, a regional pharmacy chain, announced plans to replace Sudafed with Nexafed, a medication that works like Sudafed, but is tamper-resistant so pseudoephedrine cannot be extracted from it to make meth.