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.
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.