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.

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Del. Don Perdue (D-Wayne, 19)

“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.

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  • MoMoney

    A $2.00 bullet to the head of the meth makers and dealers would solve both sides the problem. Liberal panty wastes like the ACLU would go to bat for the meth heads. Liberals are killing this country.

  • jag

    Way to go Rite Aid. Hopefully other drug stores will do the same.

  • Anon

    I will not longer be shopping at Rite Aide. I live in a house full of people with allergy/sinus problems. It's already a pain to get enough Sudafed to do us. I have an idea--let's punish the druggies--who are going to get it no matter what you do--and leave the law abiding citizens alone.

  • DWL

    Why are the law abiding people being punished by the actions of drug abusing idiots? Why aren't they being imprisoned for a long, long time (Decades)? Stop coddling the criminals!

  • jm

    I am not sold on the idea of prescription only.... those that are legitimately using the meds as intended are the ones that get hurt also. As the doctor will want you to come for a visit, then charge you for the visit/script/etc for something that you have always been able to get OTC......... so a true sinus sufferer will suffer more.

    • jojo

      jm, you're so right!!!! Again the innocent are the ones to suffer.

  • Wirerowe

    Agree with pharmacist. These drugs all need to be prescription.

  • Pharmacist

    They don't want Sudafed, they want Allegra-D 24 hour, Claritin-D 24 hour, Aleve-D. Aleve-D is easy to separate and you can buy more pseudoephedrine tablets in a time. Sudafed 24 hour comes with 5 tablets, Claritin-D 24/Allegra-D 24 comes with 15! This is a PR campaign by RA. Typical day at the Pharmacy, you usually get a call asking if you have the above products, then a little later a car load of people (people that aren't regular customers or from your town/area) show up all wanting these products back to back. They all present there WV ID's; they don't have drivers license. I hear that drug dealers have them buy these products at pharmacies and then trade them for other drugs. This bypasses the state/federal data base because the end user is not being held accountable.

    The only way to solve this is to make them all prescriptions NATIONWIDE. Claritin-D, Allegra-D, and Zyrtec-D were all prescriptions not to long ago. If you have a regular doctor, they would be happy to call/write these out for you (have your pharmacist call your doctor and request it); I have had several patients that are doing this already so they don't have to mess with the whole driver's license check (plus no state tax on Rx medications so they are cheaper on script)!

  • Christy

    It's about time!!! I'll bet Bridget Lambert and the retailers association is flipping out.