CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Lawmakers are again expected to look at a proposal that would require prescriptions for medications containing pseudephedrine, a key meth ingredient, when the 2014 Regular Legislative Session begins in January.

Those opposed to the possibility are bolstering their arguments, ahead of the session’s start, with a new poll of West Virginians from Mark Blankenship Enterprises.

That poll found 56 percent of West Virginia voters oppose legislation requiring a doctor’s prescription for cold and allergy drugs, while 40 percent of those questioned said they would support such a law.

About 65 percent of the participants in the poll said it would be somewhat or very inconvenient to have to get a doctor’s prescription to buy drugs like Claritin D, Advil Cold and Sinus or other common cold and allergy medicines that are now available over-the-counter.

Carlos Gutierrez, senior director of government affairs for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), said the poll’s results echo what he’s seen nationwide.

“The vast majority of voters, Americans, West Virginians, they oppose a prescription requirement for an already FDA approved, very safe, very effective medication that is currently affordable and accessible,” he said on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

His organization represents over-the-counter drug companies and has worked against legislation, here in West Virginia and across the country, that would require prescriptions for drugs containing pseudoephedrine.  CHPA commissioned and paid for the poll.

“Folks are really getting a little bit worn out on legislation that is crafted all on behalf of a small, criminal minority and the vast majority of West Virginians who buy pseudoephedrine, I’m convinced, are not criminals,” said Gutierrez.

Of those questioned in the poll, 80 percent said they would support legislation that would keep people convicted of meth crimes from buying medications, containing pseudoephedrine, for ten years.

State law already limits pseudoephedrine purchases in West Virginia.

Proposals requiring prescriptions for drugs containing pseudoephedrine are expected to be introduced when the 2014 Regular Legislative Session begins in January.  The prescription requirement is already in place in Oregon and Mississippi.

Supporters of it have said the change would help reduce the number of meth labs in operation in West Virginia.

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  • Wes

    I am a native West Virginian, but am currently studying pharmacy in Mississippi, which is one of two states in which pseudoephedrine is already prescription only. If the state would legitimately like to rid themselves of the meth lab problem, prescription only is the only way to truly do it. After going to prescription only, Mississippi's number of meth labs dropped by 88%. I would like to see the same happen in my own state.

  • Ragweed

    On one hand, it would make it expensive and inconvenient to get the drug by having to go to one's doctor.

    On the other hand, who wants a meth lab in their neighbor's house?


  • Bill

    One more against the regulation!

  • GregG

    How about doing a poll on.....Do you favor STRONGER punishment for Meth (and other REAL drug) use and manufacturing? Do you favor STRONGER punishment for Rx Pill abuse? Do you support legalizing marijuana for personal use?

  • The bookman

    What I noticed is that prior to my post there were 7 posts on this story, with 4 out of 7 against additional regulation...3 out of seven were for the additional regulation, all posted by Brian! Hmmm?

  • Brian

    Poll was paid for by The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which lobbies for OTC drug companies.

  • Brian

    Poll probably included loaded question(s), and was probably conducted by a hired gun pollster who started with the results and then designed the study around the conclusion. I'd like to see stats on the per capita pseudoephedrine sales by state. I'd also ask whether there are other effective OTC cold and allergy meds not containing pseudoephedrine which would still be available OTC if this legislation were passed.

  • Dan

    Silly law. Thank god I live on the WV-MD border in case this passes though

  • Metzger

    this is just another "feel good law" for politicians that will make it difficult for legitimate users while driving up revenues for doctors.....

  • C.Hoffman

    Add me to the vast majority that oppose prescriptions for certain OTC medications. The meth producers will always find another source to produce their poison. The meth producers need to be targeted not the law abiding citizen as this type of legislation always does.

    • Brian

      Yes, the VAST 56% (as measured by a likely fraudulent poll) majority.

      • GWB

        Yes, Brian, by all means, let's require me to pay for a Dr.'s visit so that I can purchase allergy medication. While we're at it, lets add to the Dr. visits to the list of welfare recipient crap that I'm already paying for by paying for deserving, law abiding citizens and the bottom sucking drains on society.

  • MB

    Get Real..just enforce the requirements
    now for buying pseudoephedrine purchases.
    We don't need to pay $90.00 to a doctor so
    he can give us cold medicine. I oppose legislation requiring a doctors prescription.