CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Opponents of a proposed prescription requirement for medications containing pseudoephedrine — a main meth ingredient — are working against the bill that would mandate as much at the State Capitol.

Bridget Lambert, president of the West Virginia Retailers Association, said she thinks the legislation will hurt the average sick person who is not breaking the law.

“That is just going to increase the cost of that medicine.  It’s going to increase the health care costs in West Virginia, inconvenience hard-working people who will have to take time off from work to get a prescription for this cold medicine and allergy medicine,” Lambert said.

The bill is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee after getting approval from the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee earlier this week.

Supporters of the legislation argued requiring a prescription for the medications would reduce the number of meth labs in West Virginia and help address the growing meth problem in parts of the state.  The proposed bill would allow tamper-resistant products, like Nexafed, to be sold from behind the counter without a prescription.

“Meth is a terrible plague in many of our communities and this is an important first step to stop that portion of the drug problem in our state,” said Senate President Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall, 2) who backs the bill.

“In my view, those pushing for the pseudoephedrine (to continue to be sold without prescriptions) are just driven by profit,” he said.  “They want to sell 20 and 30 packs of this at a time so they can drive their profits up, but they’re ruining our families, our cities and our communities and it needs to stop.”

Lambert, though, said she thinks attempts to reduce the number of meth labs in West Virginia, which she admitted is a problem, would be much more successful by establishing a meth offender registry, like those created most recently in Oklahoma and Tennessee.

“A meth offender registry identifies the meth criminals and punishes this crime as a meth criminal offense.  The meth criminals are the ones that need to be dealt with and need to be treated differently than your average every day citizen in West Virginia,” she said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

With the registry, convicted offenders would be blocked from making pseudoephedrine purchases or would need prescriptions to buy medications containing pseudoephedrine for a specified period of time.

Already, pharmacy chains like Fruth Pharmacy and Rite-Aid have taken steps to remove some products, containing pseudoephedrine, from the shelves.

At other stores, medicines containing pseudoephedrine are currently available over the counter, but state law limits the quantities one person can buy within certain established time frames.  Those purchases are tracked, in real time, through the NPLEx system, the National Precursor Log Exchange.

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Comments

  • Connor

    Legalize meth. Problem solved.

  • Ron

    My wife has severe sinus issues. Clariton is the only relief for her. I work everyday and have for 44 years. I pay my bills and taxes and mind my own business. I am tired of paying the price for the druggies, robbers and whatever else. The honest people that pay their dues are the ones that always suffer because our gutless politicians never address the problem where it lies. LOCK THEM UP and THROW AWAY THE KEY. All you politicians (lawyers) do is represent the same old garbage over and over again. You take our freedom away to protect your clients. Then you turn around and give them welfare, food stamps and a cell phone. Shame on you.

  • Frankie Wayman

    Sure we need to start getting prescriptions for this stuff. God knows prescriptions helped with the abuse of prescription painkillers. Or wait a minute. It really didn't did it? Do you think these doctors might be part of the problem to wanting to get their claws into some of the profits from these office visits and such.

  • jay zoom

    why does the legislature spend time on this ass in ine stuff. get down to issues that the state needs to address. also there are to many comittees a bill has to go through before it gets to the house floor regardless of the issue.

  • Kate

    Yup. I totally want to waste my money and my doctor's time every time I get a sinus headache.

  • RANDY

    People seeking money often commit violent crimes to get money. People who have money are often victims because of their possession of the afore mentioned money. Let's lockup those without and take away from those who have in order to cut down on criminals and victims. Oh crap. Obama's take and give strategy throws my plan off balance. New plan. By executive order-If you like your pseudoephedrine you can keep it. PERIOD!

  • RANDY

    Stop limiting the rights of everyone because it MIGHT stop the actions of a few. Should all cars be governed at 20 MPH because it might stop chronic speeders and reckless drivers from hurting someone? I would guess that most drunk driving and negligent driving crimes are committed by people with access to a vehicle. Hey lets take that access away in the name of the public good.

  • mango county boy

    does anybody no if they is school in mango county today

  • Woodchuck0

    Have the drug makers put flakes in the drugs. The users would be easy to spot.

    Prescriptions do not stop drug users.

  • Aaron

    The problem with those who support this law including State Senator Dan Foster is that states where similar laws have been placed in effect show very little positive results from the law.

    Supporters will claim Oregon saw a 90% reduction in the number of meth labs but what they fail to note is that the majority of that reduction took effect before the law went into effect. They also neglect the reduction in surrounding states.

    There are enough ways to combat meth without enacting laws or infringing on law abiding citizens.

  • longbeards

    I agree that you should not need a prescription for Clairton,,,,I am an older, and retired. I have sinus problems that only Clairton gives me relive from. YET I now have to have prescription at my local walmart which costs me about 60$ additional to get now. I am not happy!

  • Woodchuck

    Punish the good guys.

  • Charlie

    Pseudoephedrine was prescription-only until 1976, and if you've ever known someone who became addicted to meth you want it to be that way again. Oregon has almost completely eradicated their meth problem since enacting this law, why can't we do that in WV?

    I think it's telling that the main opponent to this bill is the West Virginia Retailers Association aka the people who will lose money. I haven't seen any doctors or patient advocacy groups opposing this law.

    • Aaron

      Those who claim Oregon's law is working are incorrect.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/meth-laws-oregons-prescription-cold-medicine_n_1290918.html

      There are ways to combat meth without requiring a prescription.

  • IronMike

    The whole idea that a prescription will prevent abuse of these cold and allergy medications is ridiculous. If that was a viable solution we wouldn't have any problems at all with OxyContin and all of the other opiates that have decimated our communities.

    • RANDY

      Disagree. I already feel safer going to NYC because Mayor Bloomberg's ban on big sodas will keep me from packing on dangerous pounds. If we would give him and Michelle Obama access to the government's secret ability to control the weather, they could give the United States an 1980's Ethiopian scale drought that would thin us down to such healthy levels that Social Security would be guaranteed to go broke because we'd all live to be at least 115 years old.

  • William

    We also have a pain pill problem in our state and that problem begins with a prescription, so how is this one gonna be different? There needs to be a registry to control the offenders and also one for pain pill abusers.