CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the next stop for the bill aimed at reducing meth manufacturing in West Virginia, were scheduled to take up the bill on Wednesday afternoon at the State Capitol.

The proposed bill would require a doctor’s prescription for cold medications containing pseudoephedrine — a main ingredient in meth.

Only tamper-resistant medications containing pseudoephedrine , like Nexafed, could continue to be sold at pharmacies without a prescription as long as they are kept behind the pharmacy counter.

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Sen. Corey Palumbo (D-Kanawha, 17)

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Corey Palumbo (D-Kanawha, 17) said he supports the legislation because, he said, he thinks a prescription requirement would help cut down on meth labs.  “I think meth will still come in to West Virginia but, I think, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to access the ingredients you need to make meth,” he said.

He said he has heard the complaints from people who do not want to go through the process of getting prescriptions for medications they can now buy over the counter.

“I’m sensitive to that, but I think the meth problem is so extensive and pervasive in our society that we really need to do something significant to curb it and, I think, this is really all we can do,” said Palumbo.

Currently, sales of medications containing pseudoephedrine in West Virginia are limited and are tracked electronically, in real time, through the NPLEx system, National Precursor Log Exchange.

The Senate Judiciary Committee meets at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the State Capitol.

Palumbo, a guest on Tuesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” predicted the proposal would get the committee’s approval.  However, he could not predict its fate in front of the full Senate and, possibly later, the full House of Delegates.

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  • Bibi

    Isn't it ironic that CHPA's ad is appearing on this page. CHPA has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect its pharmaceutical clients, who don't want to give up the profits they are making from METH. Consider that 80% of all Sudafed sold is made into METH. Find out if your legislator took money from the pharm industry: and then see how they vote.

  • Bibi

    And if you don't think you're not paying for meth labs already, read this. Where do you think the state is getting the money for the Victims Fund?

  • Gary Karstens

    This is a good start and needs to happen. Why would we not want a solution to the problem? YEESH!

  • DR

    Prescription is not required for similar meds such as Nexafed. If people would just start buying those products instead of Sudafed then physician's would only be dealing with the real meth users who want prescriptions for Sudafed. Eventually this would be an easy way to bust the meth users and Sudafed would eventually be gone altogether

    • Aaron

      I try Nexafed and ended up sucking Afrin to clear my sinuses. Why should I have to get a prescription to purchase a product that works particularly when evidence suggests that similar laws in other states does one not successful.

      What they did find were methods to control distribution of this product without a prescription that were highly successful. Why not implement those procedures?

      • Bibi

        Actually, Aaron, jurisdictions and states that have made pseudoephedrine rx-only HAVE been successful in decreasing meth labs according to a GAO study. Oregon and Mississippi have decreased labs by 80%. They still have to deal with meth imports, but at least they only need to fight that one front now, instead of trying to burn the candle at both ends. Also, meth labs cause a lot of environmental and health issues to innocent victims.

  • BDM

    As a physician, I find this horrible. I do not want to have to answer 30 messages a day of people with colds wanting a prescription for sudafed. There is no way physicians have time to see these patients and will end up just calling in prescriptions. Whether it is tying up the phone lines, keeping office staff busy, or taking up appointment times, it will just keep people who need to be seen by the doctor from being seen. Maybe this is just a push by the nurse practitioners to justify there wanting to take charge and prescribe meds on their own.

    • Bibi

      This is one doctor's office that DOES want PSEs to be prescription only. We have never ever had a patient mention that they use these medicines, and in fact, if you were a good doctor, you'd realize that these medicines should be taken under a doctor's care. PSEs are not good for people that have diabetes, heart conditions, and high blood pressure, among other things. Not even 10% of WVians purchased PSEs last year, and 3% (I believe) was bought at much less than the allowed limit, meaning people may have only bought one package in an entire year.

  • JustaFan

    Because no drugie ever gets their hands on prescription only meds....

  • Barry Williams

    Great idea... It's worked out so well with pain meds. All it does is makes it harder and takes more money away from honest folks

    • just sayin

      Yep, especially now since Obamacare doubled my deductible and co pay, only people with Medicaid will be able to see the doctors and get prescriptions for Sudafed...while I am suffering because I cannot afford to see my doctor just to get a RX. Maybe I should see doctor anyway and send the bill to any legislator who votes for this...

      • Shawn H

        JS, maybe you will be one of the lucky 2.3 million who will lose their job because of ACA. Then you will be able to stay home and cook dinner. That's how the Dems are spinning this. You'll have more time to spend at home.

        • just sayin

          of course! The new American dream is to work less....and let the government take care of you from cradle to grave.....

    • Teufel

      you are correct and it will do little to deter abuse.....
      These types of laws also serve the Politicans as they can get on soap box and say " look at me , look at what I did .......

  • Ryan

    Let me start by saying that unlike many people who comment on websites and write letters to the editor, I do not work for the cold medicine industry.
    I applaud Senator Columbo for putting the well being of our state above the profit of multi-billion dollar out of state industries. Thank you Senator for your leadership!
    Ryan from Morgantown

    • Aaron

      Do some research into Oregon's prescription band of this product.

  • teufel

    there goes another $40 co pay everytime I get a sinus cold ........ Dr.'s love it im sure

  • Shawn H

    You will need a police escort to buy pseudoephedrine. How long until we hear of someone being murdered for their Sudafed?