WHEELING, W.Va. — Research done by a West Liberty University economics professor projects the cost of a bill to make cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine a prescription-only drug will be steep.

Professor Serkan Catma performed the study on the projected costs for such a policy change. The study was funded by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, an arm of the pharmaceutical industry heavily opposed to the legislation.

“There will be almost 79,000 additional doctor visits in West Virginia annually,” said Catma during an interview on “MetroNews Talkline” this week. “The draft cost to average households in West Virginia will be about $3.7 million.”

Catma said his research takes into account not only the cost of a doctor visit to obtain the prescription, but the cost of missing days of work and lost productivity.

“If we look at the cost over a 10-year period, the prescription requirement would cost a total of $247 million, of which $146 million will be a cost to the state,” he said.

Catma said the figures account for adjustments consumers will make in switching to alternative, over-the-counter medicine. He said part of the figure also represents lost sales tax revenue to the state.

Supporters of the prescription policy say those figures are easily offset by savings realized by the state to clean up meth labs and treat those addicted to the drugs. Catma said his research didn’t explore those costs and he doesn’t believe there is enough data to make an accurate prediction.

“We’re not here to pass judgment or provide a policy prescription. We’re going to leave that up to the policy makers,” Catma said. “We only wanted to contribute to the debate the figures of how much it’s going to cost if the bill is passed.”

The prescription-only bill has been passed by the Senate and the House of Delegates is expected to take up the measure soon.

Catma did the research on his own and not on behalf of West Liberty.

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  • hillbilly

    This guys studies are very far off..
    First off, it takes sometimes months to get in to see your regular doctor. And if that many more people having to be seen just for a cold remedy, its going to push out the appointment window that much further, causing people to miss more days of work. As for the Medicaid people who use ERs for everything, its that many more ER visits, even more cost for those who subsidize this.

  • Dave cox

    I believe this is a complete waste of time. Last winter I tried to buy SudaFed with a prescription from my Doctor only to be refused at 3 different pharmacies. If your drivers license has been renewed in the last two years you can not get SudaFed even with Rx from doctor

  • Shadow

    With the data so unconvincing, why not try the other side of the coin. Bring back the chain gang and rock busting for the perps.

    • Old inspector

      This would fix most of that problem and would fix several other crimes. People have no fear of the jails or prisons anymore none because it is so easy just do the time with other people just like them. They have doctors get teeth fixed can get a GED . We need to send them to a place that makes them think that think I do not want to ever ever do a day in this ever again. Make them do had work 12 house a day 7 days a week. I wish someone would step up and run for office on the issue . Would be a landslide.

  • Bernice

    I live in Parkersburg. Now I'll just drive across the bridge to get my Claritin-D. I'll bet the meth-makers will never think to do that.

  • poca guy

    The only ones lobbying against this bill are the pharmaceutical companies. And getting a scrip won't necessarily require an office visit. By the logic of the arguments I am hearing we could apply this to all prescription drugs, put them all on the shelf. There would be no charge in the drug problem and we would all save money on doctors visits.

    • Aaron

      That is not true. Thousands of law abiding citizens do not want to see this bill become law.

      I for one am one of them and my motivation has nothing to do with how much money big pharma makes.

      I've read the studies regarding states that have passed prescription laws and such a requirement actually worked in reducing the number of meth labs by a significant number, I would support the bill.

      The problem is, there is empirical evidence that demonstrates states requiring a prescription to obtain the medicine have not seen a significant reduction in meth lab incidents over bordering states that restrict the medicine without requiring a prescription.

      In layman's terms, requiring a prescription does not work, particularly when you combine it with increased health care cost.

      Trying to muddy the water with false logic comparisons in no way changes that fact.

    • The bookman

      Except this drug, PSE, is not prescription strength. Not one comment here has suggested we de-regulate the prescription drug laws and allow dangerous drugs to be made available over the counter. What a ridiculous argument.

      • Shadow

        There are a lot of prescription drugs that should be put on the shelf and not required a doctor visit. Keeping them on the list only increases the healthcare costs, an example being thyroid.

      • poca guy

        The point is it is just as dangerous when put on the shelf to sell because people make me think out of it which is illegal. So if keeping this process in place what's the difference. Like I said the only one complaining are drug stores and drug companies. The people who makes huge amounts of money off the sell to the meth industry. For the once in a blue moon that anyone in my family need this drug.we are probably going to the doctor any way.

        • The bookman

          100,000 people will be negatively impacted by this change in WV and the majority of WV voters are against requiring the prescription. Lucky for you it has no impact, and amazing that you would otherwise go to the doctor for the relief of such inconsequential symptoms as a runny nose or watery eyes.

          • Jason412

            I said that 3 or 4 days ago.

            When I stop seeing my name in every post, I'll be done with it.

          • The bookman

            You both need to just agree to disagree and move on. You both have entrenched positions and much has been made of it on both sides.

          • Jason412


            After I agreed that the data was all over the place yesterday, I figured I would leave that alone. I posted the list of numbers of every state to show that I wasn't trying to "hide" anything as Aaron accuses me off in every post he makes.

            Then I wake up this morning, and here he goes again, not only sneak dissing me in every post he makes even though I was at work and not part of the conversation but using the same numbers and twisting them to prove his point to Poca Guy.

            Maybe you know that the numbers are all over the place, maybe I do, and maybe Aaron does. But the average person skimming through these comments will see those numbers and be like "oh my! the ban didn't help at all there was an 89% decrease before the ban"

            So I decided to present the other side of that argument. If someone is accusing me of spreading misinformation in every single post they make, while spreading misinformation, I will always present my side of that argument.

            Should I just leave his false information with no replies to leave people to think it's a fact? No, I shouldn't.

            I probably should have let his constant childish insults go without a reply. But what can I say.

            I stand by everything I've said.

          • Jason412

            I would point out that in your percentages you used 2006 as part of your "before the ban" 89% decrease numbers which is ridiculous, because the ban occurred in 2006. I don't know why I'm surprised you would try to use the 2006 67 number as part of your pre-ban calculations.

            If you use the actual years there was no ban at all, using the GOA number from 2002 to 2005 is the 63% you quoted.

            If you take the numbers from the years only after the ban, and I'll be decent and only start from 2007 because it's not right to use 2006 one way or the other. The decrease in labs from 2007(43) to 2011(11) is 74.4%(GOA numbers)

            And let's not forget, when you use the EPIC numbers, 41 in 2007 and 8 in 2012 that decrease percentage goes to 80.4%.

            Are 74% and 80% not larger numbers then 63%? If so then we've seen a larger percentage decrease in labs post ban then the pre-ban you insist on.

          • The bookman

            They are also numbers that have no credibility, in that there is no consistent reporting mechanism to define what is and is not a lab seizure. That coupled with the fact that lab seizures are a measure of successful enforcement and not meth abuse, I stand by my previous posts that there has been presented no justifiable evidence that rxPSE reduces the availability of PSE to meth cooks or abusers. You guys have gone back and forth for days arguing the legitimacy of these numbers and they are meaningless in the discussion.

            The numbers from these reports are derived from EPIC and compiled by NSS. They admit a lack of standards and compliance across the many jurisdictions reporting these numbers. When looking deeper into the site, they actually provide a list by county and state. My home county only lists two seizures. Not accurate. What this tells me is that most likely these are labs of a larger scale, as I know of several apartments and larger housing complexes with multiple seizures. So I know with confidence that the numbers are not reliable.

            So please stop bickering over data that can not be statistically quantified. This is and always has been feel good legislation. We have a problem, so let's show the public we can do something about it. Doesn't matter if it works, just so we get the credit that we care and we acted. Too much of that in government, and we in the public get to deal with the unintended consequences of actions that should never have happened in the first place.

          • Jason412

            You know what's funny Aaron, I didn't realize I did that because I was using numbers from my post below not looking at the sites. But using all numbers from EPIC, which is the most recent and cited by the GOA as a source thus should be used, helps my case even more.

            LA = (2010)160 (2012)55 = 65.6%
            AL = (2010)671 (2012)192= 71.3%
            AR = (2010)662 100(2012) = 84.8%
            FL = (2010)416 (2012) 284 = 31.7%
            TN = (2010) 2,146 (2012) 1,585= 26.1%
            MS = (2010) 938 (2012) 5 = 99.4%

            The only state that increased was Alabama, while FL, LA, and AR all decreased from my original numbers. Obviously I didn't use the "best numbers from 2 different sources" or I would have been consistent enough to not make FL, LA, and AR the lowest possible, not higher.

            Mississippi still stands at 99.4%.

            Thanks for helping me make my point.

          • Aaron

            Surrounding states in the same time period 2010 - 2012

            The GAO Report stops at 2011 numbers. You're using the best numbers from 2 different sources

          • Jason412

            Also, poca and Motherjones number is correct. Since 2006 was the year the ban was implemented and there are no numbers by month it would stand to reason they did the percentage based on 2005, last year with no ban the entire year, to 2011.

            Going from 232 to 11 is an over 95% decrease, one may even round it to 96%.

            Poca guy, don't worry about it. What you posted is a fact your quote said nothing about several years before the ban was implemented and obviously they wouldn't use numbers from 2006-2011 because you have to use numbers from the last full year without the ban.

          • Jason412

            Since everything still seems to be on seizure numbers.

            Compare those percentage's to the 99.4% decrease in lab seizures Mississippi seen between 2010-2012.

            Surrounding states in the same time period 2010 - 2012

            LA = 74.7%
            TN = 26.1%
            AL = 41.9%
            AR = 87.7%
            FL = 46.1% (not a border state)

            I'll take a 99.4% decrease over a 26.1% or even 87.7% for that matter, as a 99.4% decrease is about as good as you could ever hope for.

            The point being if you take something out of context, and you have an agenda, you can make it say pretty much whatever you want. Even numbers.

            "Numbers may not lie but people do. Mother Jones, like some on who post on metro news is spreading misinformation. "

            Man, for someone who got kids probably as old as me you sure do think your sly little childish insults are top notch, don't ya?

            I'm so great as spreading misinformation that you're using the report I posted that you originally said, multiple times, "those numbers are wrong". Why are you not using the report you started with if I'm so great at posting misinformation?

            In case you forgot, here is a direct quote from a site you linked just a few days ago, while you were once again taking something completely out of context.

            "Oregon’s prescription-only law has resulted in fewer meth lab incidents in that state"

          • aaron

            Oregon meth lab incidents by year.

            2002-642-no law
            2003-584-no law
            2004-632-no law, implemented tracking systems.

            2005-232-no law, incidents were reduced by 400, or 63%

            2006-67-law went into effect on July 1, 2006, incidents were reduced by 565, or 89%


            The VAST majority of the reductions in meth lad incidents occurred BEFORE the prescription law took effect.

            What about that do you not understand?

          • poca guy

            Well I am sure I must just be ignorant and t he law will have no effects on meth labs. My only question is if Oregon had reduced meth labs by 89

          • Aaron

            Numbers may not lie but people do. Mother Jones, like some on who post on metro news is spreading misinformation. Oregon had an 89% reduction in meth labs BEFORE the bill became law, which mirrored surrounding states.

            And after the the bill became law, those same states reduction mirrored Oregon's without the aid of a prescription law. In short, those who tout Oregon's law either do so out of bias or ignorance.

          • The bookman

            You are obviously late to this argument, as any meth lab number quoted has no reasonable correlation to prescription law enactment. And I don't think anyone's vote will be impacted by this issue, but you claimed the only people against this legislation was big Pharma lobbyists, and as the rest of your posts on this issue, is false and hyperbole. The only poll conducted on this issue has the majority against the proposal. So go back to reading mother jones. I'm sure it is very interesting and reinforcing, regardless of accuracy.

          • pocaguy

            Really? A majority of voters. Do you think this will be high impact issue for delegates that vote for this legislation. I doubt it.

            "Since the bill became law in 2006, the number of meth labs found in Oregon has fallen 96 percent."
            The numbers don't lie.

  • smith

    In my county it seems the same people get busted again and again for meth or theft why are they not serving longer jail terms?

  • Wirerowe

    The cops are for the legislation. I am for it.

    • The bookman

      Being on the front lines of this issue, I can appreciate law enforcement grasping at any additional help, regardless of its chances for success. Law enforcement would accept an infringement on many of our rights and freedoms in an effort to purge the evils from our society. My father is retired from law enforcement, and I know the multiple levels on which drugs and it's use and distribution impact the day to day functions of police work. I see and appreciate their perspective, but we disagree on this one. My dad is confounded with me on it as well, if that is any consolation!

      • Aaron

        Ask most LEO's about searching one's vehicle and the standard reply I've heard (anecdotal I know but I've got 4 sons who've been pulled over more than once) is "If you've got nothing to hide then you'll let me search your vehicle."

        While I'm not trying to bash on law enforcement and I do not believe every individuals feel this way, I believe a great majority of law enforcement officials belief burden of proof should rely on the individual and not the state.

        As such the theme is, if you're not making meth, you have no problem getting a prescription.

      • Wirerowe

        The acorn fell too far from the tree. Kidding. He obliviously did a good job bringing you up. I think the majority of the voters for whatever reason is against this so in an election year it will have a difficult time in house. When you add big time and well compensated pharma lobbyists in Charleston it is swimming up stream. Hope I am wrong and the house surprises me and passes it.

        • The bookman

          I think it passes. That's why I'm pushing so hard.

  • Aaron

    This combined with the fact that prescription requirements in Oregon in Mississippi do not substantially reduce the number of meth lab incidents as proven by numbers from federal government reports should squelch any notion among House members to pass this bill.

  • KK

    How much do you think meth is costing us? Isn't it worth trying this legislation? The state of Oregon saw its meth cases decrease from 501 to 11 in one year. One year! It isn't as if the legislation can't be reversed next year, if it doesn't reduce our rates. How bad does our meth problem need to get before we're willing to make substantive changes? Especially when there are substitute medication that are readily available.

    • Aaron

      What Jason412 is not telling you regarding Mississippi KK is that EVERY state except Tennessee (which has a patchwork of local laws requiring a prescription) surrounding Mississippi saw mirror reductions in their meth lab incidents WITHOUT requiring a prescription. Mississippi's law is no more effective than what LA, AL, GA, AR, or FL are doing but those states are not driving up the cost with wasted doctor visits.

      • Aaron

        If you go to page 15 of the report and compare the numbers to Mississippi's, anyone can see the percentages for the entire southeast are similar.

        Jason412 would have you believe that the percentages vary and that Mississippi's law made a huge difference but that simply is not true.

        While Mississippi saw a 1 year decline of 65% in Meth Lab incidents, the entire southeast Arkansas saw a 63% reduction in meth lab incidents, Louisiana’s reduction was 68%, Alabama’s was 59%, Georgia’s was 58%, and Florida’s was 69%. Clearly the law had little effect on the reduction in meth lab incidents.

        Additionally, nationwide, while meth labs saw a resurgence from 2007 to 2010, the reason is the shake and bake method that requires essentially no lab and of which experts agree, prescription requirements will have very little effect as the "cook" only needs small amounts to make his product.

        I don't expect you to believe me KK, do the research for yourself.

        • Jason412

          There you go including Georgia. Why do you continue to leave out Oklahoma and Missouri while talking about Georgia?

          You accuse me of being biased while you pick and chose only information that you think benefits your agenda.

          " Jason412 would have you believe that the percentages vary and that Mississippi's law made a huge difference but that simply is not true"

          Jason412 wouldn't have anyone believe anyt

          • Jason412

            Hit enter to soon.

            Jason412 wouldn't have anyone believe anything. I posted the numbers as they were presented, Aaron would have you believe Georgia should be taken into account but not Oklahoma and Missouri.

            Aaron would have you believe he is a very reliable source of information. Aaron would have you believe if you see something differently you're wrong, evident by his posts to others.in this very thread. Aaron would have you believe most doctors will have no problem giving scripts of PSE to people who are obviously on meth, while they hassle the average Joe. Aaron would have you believe he is the definitive authority on the issue and has spent far longer then the last few days researching it.

            Do you get tired of putting my name in every post you make? I'm certainly tired of posting yours.

        • The bookman

          And the "cook" will have access to PSE without prescription. None of this makes sense.

          • Jason412


            In the other thread didn't you say any doctor phoning in scripts would be under intense scrutinity? But now you say most, not some, will hand it out to any person who asks?

            Yeah, I'm sure most doctors will risk their career and license to supply PSE to meth cooks in return only for a Medicaid fee. They'll surely be desperate to collect medicaid fees, it's not like Medicaid just saw a huge influx in numbers and there are tons of willing patients those doctors could collect the fee from legitimately and without having to worry about being investigated.

            It's good to know that most doctor's are willing to hand out whatever medication anyone asks for. I never realized that's how it works.

            Wait, let me correct that, doctor's will hand out any medication as long as the patients are obviously on meth but the average medicaid patient who really needs it will have to undergo extensive testing.

            Certainly.if a doctor is prescribing massive amounts of PSE to any patient who asks the DEA wont mind.

            I had no idea you knew most doctor's in WV and they explain their prescribing practices to you regularly.

          • aaron

            This law makes it easy for smurfers to get more product. They'll go to any of the 150+ clinics that accept Medicaid, services low income patients and will gladly charge a Medical card a fee for a 10 minute to write a script meaning cooks now have greater access to their product at a lower cost and a higher profit margin.

            And while most doctors will simply listen to the claim of allergies or such non-sense and write the script, for the select few who don't, patients will undergo extensive testing for said allergies, all to be paid for by Joe Taxpayer.

            Yes, it's a wonderful law.

      • Jason412

        Instead of trying to push my views on everyone and having the same debate for the 4th time as far as lab seizure numbers, I will present the numbers and let anyone interested decide for themselves what they mean

        The first set is from the El Paso Intelligence Center(EPIC), the second set from the Government Office of Accountability(GOA). The GOA does not have 2012 number's.

        EPIC --
        (2009) 160 (2010) 218 (2011) 76 (2012) 55

        GOA -
        (2009)163 (2010) 218 (2011) 70

        EPIC --
        (2009) 671(2010) 331 (2011) 291 (2012) 192

        GOA -
        (2009) 673 (2010) 719 (2011) 293

        EPIC --
        (2009) 1,487 (2010) 2,146 (2011) 2,315(2012) 1,585

        GOA --(2009) 1,494 (2010) 2,153 (2011) 2,326

        EPIC --
        (2009) 662 (2010) 814 (2011) 282 (2012) 100

        (2009) 671 (2010) 824 (2011) 308

        EPIC --
        (2009) 416 (2010) 527 (2011) 160 (2012) 284

        GOA --
        (2009) 415 (2010) 526 (2011) 161

        EPIC --
        (2009) 938 (2010) 912 (2011) 321 (2012) 5

        GOA --
        (2009) 960 (2010) 937 (2011) 321

        I will point out there's only one state that went from over 900 to a single digit number. Actually, only one state that went from any number to below 50.


        The current system should provide law enforcement the tools to track everyone down, but it doesn't. If someone is smart enough not to hit the limit every month, then law enforcement has no indication that they aren't using it for sinuses.

        I once again say if this legislation is such an inconvenience, buy Nexafed. Same drug, still available at your local pharmacy. You say by their own admission it has limitations? I've read their entire site and can't find that, besides what I already pointed out small difference in bio-equivalence

        I would also add, while 80% in the nation may come from south of the border I'd guess (with no facts to back me up) that number is extremely lower in WV. I'm basing that on the fact almost every meth bust I see in the media is for minimal home cooked amounts, not ounces and kilo's which indicate Mexican trafficking. We have large amounts of heroin being busted coming from Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore almost everyday. Why are those numbers not reflected in meth if 80% of it is being trafficked into the state.

        • The bookman

          I never said Nexafed's site claimed it was less effective at treating symptoms, but that it was only marginally effective at impeding the production of meth using the shake n bake one pot method, actually only limiting the production at 1/2 the volume. I agree most of our local problem is the small batch, mostly because we in WV are small potatoes. Which makes the impact of Nexafed even less, in that it is only effective at blocking meth production in the large lab environment.

          The latter part of your post involving heroin, I agree with you. Nationally, cheap heroin is on the increase due to all the focus on meth. It creates a new niche for an old demon. Which brings it full circle. Pick your demon if you are an addict. There will always be a demon to replace the exorcised one. We have a drug use problem. Not a meth problem, or heroin, or coke, or MJ, or prescription painkiller. We have a drug abuse problem. We can't continue to attack it from the same side of the equation. We need to dry up the demand side, and the supply side will wither on the vine. How do we do that effectively is the question?

        • Jason412

          Aaron, if you're going to include GA which does not border MS and is 2 states away then you must include OK and MO, which are also 2 states away from MS.

          The numbers for OK:
          GOA: (2009) 784 (2010) 880 (2011) 1,006
          EPIC: (2009) 781 (2010) 873 (2011) 997 (2012) 678

          For Missouri:

          (2009) 1,810 (2010) 1,979 (2011) 2,114

          (2009) 1,793 (2010) 1,946 (2011) 2,075 (2012) 1,825

          I'm not saying that should be included in the discussion, but if GA is those should be as well.

          Gotta get to work, wasted way to much time on posting those numbers. I'll respond to whatever when I get off.

          Thanks for the discussion, Bookman.

    • Jason412


      Your numbers are a bit off on Oregon. However, Mississippi went fom 937 labs in 2010 when the legislation took effect to 5 in 2012 and, as reported by Mississippi Narcotics Bureau still only 8 on 2013.

      Also, if you read the GOA report make sure you read the last few pages. Id.give you a page # but phone wont bring it up for some reason.

      • The bookman

        And the National Clandestine Lab Register only lists two confirmed lab addresses in Randolph County, WV. The numbers being used to push this legislation down everyone's throat are not consistent nor accurate. One only need to read the terse comments between you and Aaron on this topic to see the problem. You both are quite able to research issues and in following this issue and the many posts on this issue it is obvious there is no consistent data set to draw any conclusions.
        I would also say that by most accounts the regional fluctuations we observe nationally are due to extraneous factors not associated with prescription PSE. The availability of cheaper drug alternatives, more effective enforcement and interdiction using nPLEX, and migration, not eradication of meth, to other areas where the precursors are easier to obtain or enforcement is not as effective, is a more logical inference to make. I also think that to truly be effective for a state like WV that extends in so many directions, federal restrictions would have to be utilized.

        How does requiring a prescription in St. Marys stop the production of meth when the smurf can drive to Newport, OH and buy it? Addicts are going to be addicts. They will huff gasoline to get high if that's what it takes.

        • Jason412

          I agree the data is all over the place.

          But you're now citing this study, the quarter billion dollars, as fact.

          "Catma said the figures account for adjustments consumers will make in switching to alternative, over-the-counter medicine."

          How can they accurately predict something like that? Why was Nexafed not factored in? There's not enough data to predict how much the state will save in lab clean up costs, but they have enough data to predict what people will do?

          I understand basic economics, but if they looked at Mississippi and Oregon to predict changes to OTC meds, they should be able to predict any money saved by law enforcement in lab clean up, police meth lab training, costs of the NPLEX system etc.

          They also predict days of work loss and productivity loss. I trust that's only for people who use it for colds, as someone who suffers from chronic allergies certainly could make an appointment around their schedule and not miss work

          . Did they factor in that even someone suffering from a cold could go to a "Doc In the Box" after work and get a prescription without an appointment? The $247 million is over 10 years, did they factor in more efficient tamper resistant PSE products will be developed in the next 10 years? Maybe a sinus medicine that works better then PSE and can't be used for meth at all will be developed by 2024, who knows?

          My point is there are are just as many inconsistencies in any one of those factors as there are the number of lab seizures, yet they're trying to push this as what it will unquestionably cost.

          If this wasn't funded by the same organization spending so much money on "Stop Meth. Not Meds" commercials I wouldn't have so much trouble believing it.

          • The bookman

            So what you describe is a process currently that is successful at limiting PSE purchases that already carries its associated inconvenience to the legitimate client. What you propose is to further inconvenience the legitimate client in an effort to continue to reduce the sale of PSE to smurfs. And I say show me the proof that it works. And you give us what data is out there and it is not compelling, or consistent, by no fault of your own I should add. Others have researched the issue only to uncover other reasons to oppose this initiative. The current system should provide law enforcement the tools to track the offenders down and save them from their own poor choices. Understand that an increase in meth lab seizures does not mean a failed policy. It means successful enforcement and interdiction. And remember that home cooks only represent 1/5 of the source of meth in this country as 80% comes from south of the border.

          • Jason412

            If the "restrictions" at the pharmacy consisted of more then presenting an ID and not being over a limit, maybe I wouldn't be so in favor of this legislation.

            A while back there was that article on Fruth Pharmacy (I think in Charleston?) saying that if you want to buy PSE then you have to have a consultation with the pharmacist and tell them why you need it. They claim it's working very well and their number of PSE sales have drastically dropped. They don't only block purchases once a person has reached the limit and has already been able to produce thousands of dollars in meth without hitting that limit

            The way it is now at most pharmacies, someone waits until a new month starts their limit is "refreshed", for lack of a better word, they go into the pharmacy looking like a zombie, present ID and a few dollars, and leave with their PSE in hand.

            Yes, some pharmacists will take it upon themselves to refuse a suspicious sale if the person hasn't hit the limit, as they should, but if their working for a chain pharmacy they only have so much discretion if someone isn't over the limit.

            This legislation forces smurf's to sit down with a doctor, who in most cases have a large amount of discretion in what they prescribe and far more to lose then a 20 year old pharmacy technician, and give legitimate reasons why they need it.

            If one doctor refuses to prescribe PSE to a smurf, and they immediately go to another doctor, that would be called doctor shopping. The way it is now if a pharmacist refuses, and they go to another pharmacy, that is called nothing.

          • The bookman

            The study provides the realization of a financial cost to the citizen and the state upon passage of this bill. To me it is a gamble either way. Should we use flawed data and change an otherwise safe and very effective drug that is already restricted in its availability to prescription only knowing in advance that the risk will carry a financial cost that may be as much as 250M over ten years. The case has not been made IMO.

            Why use # of labs as an indicator anyway? That number is hard to assess, track and evaluate. And it is an indicator of successful enforcement and interdiction, not meth abuse.

      • Jason412

        Page 61

    • Aaron

      That's not true. The state of Oregon had 632 meth lab incidents in 2002. Oregon's prescription requirement did not become law until July 1, 2006, by which time meth cases were well below 100.

      Oregon ended the year at 67. Other methods of restriction had reduced Oregon's meth lab incidents by 89% BEFORE the law took effect. AFTER the law took, Oregon has seen an 83% reduction (67 cases to 11) over the next 5 years.

      Additionally, every state surrounding Oregon saw similar reductions since Oregon's bill became law.

      Type in www and look at page 15 on the GAO report below.


  • proudlyconservative

    Funded by big pharma and conducted by WLU "economics" department? Throwing the totally-biased flag here.

    • The bookman

      What numbers do you dispute in the study? Yes, I understand that the impetus to conduct the study carries a bias, however it is really an actuarial study based on predictable economic outcomes from the passage of the bill.

      Passage of this legislation is being promulgated by data sets that are not consistent, regardless of the point of view. The most vocal advocates of rx PSE don't even claim this bill will result on the eradication of the scourge of meth on our communities, but that it's the best thing they can think of to try next. I don't know about you, but 100M dollar gamble out of citizens' wallets and another 150M out of state coffers is a pretty big gamble to make given such scant and inconsistent correlations of success. If you are really proudly conservative, I would think you would be a little more fiscally responsible with our money. It's not like we aren't already struggling to meet our budget concerns as it is.

      • Ben Dover

        The numbers provided by the study are skewed - they do not take into account the new cold medicines that are difficult (if not impossible) to derive into meth that will still be available over-the-counter.

        The truth is that METH is big money for big Pharma - and all other middle-men businesses. Why is it when I go to Wal-Mart to get some sinus medication, I can only buy the MEGA-pack version that contains 150 pills? Why can't I get a 10 pill pack? Because they are catering to the METH makers! Wake up people!

        This is a bunch of big-pharma horse hockey. Do what is right and good for WV and pass this legislation.

        • fed up

          Sudafed does not come in a pack of 150- only 10 or 20 at a time. Regardless, Medicaid costs will rise because the state will then be paying for the medications now that it is a prescription, and add that to all the costs associated with doctor visits to receive the RX. At least now, cash is required to get Sudafed...

        • The bookman


          The above link is from the Nexafed site. Read it. This link has been posted on four different stories on this MB over the last few months and demonstrates the fallacy that this new formulation will solve anything for most of today's smurf cooks. They will only have to procure an extra box of Sudafed as they did with the old recipe to gain the same amount of meth as before. Think that impedes them. This is feel good legislation directed at a real societal problem that achieves nothing more than a ton of inconvenience and a projected direct and indirect costs of a Quarter of a Billion Dollars. Now tell me why we should do this, again?

          • Jason412

            Just want to add, since I don't like to take things out of context, that above quote is not the entire quote from the GOA report, which is why I put it in two separate sets of quotations. It can be found on page 61 as I had referenced yesterday.

          • Jason412

            "The GAO report Jason cited is actually very impressive and I agree with their conclusions."

            Oh, you do? That's weird, because the following quotes are from the GOA report, and judging by every post you've made you don't agree with their conclusion.

            "To test whether the results are likely to be found by chance in
            Oregon, we ran the model assigning Oregon’s neighboring states that met our criteria for inclusion as controls (Washington, Idaho, and Nevada)
            as the case study state and allowed the model to generate a synthetic control to compare what would have happened relative to the experience in each of those states. If the results were found to be similar to Oregon’s, then we could not dismiss the possibility that our findings for Oregon were due to chance. "
            "The synthetic control method confirmed the direction of the impact in Oregon. Our placebo analysis that assigned Oregon’s neighbor states as the control state showed that the reductions seen in Oregon were not projected in those states, giving some indication that the Oregon reduction was not found by chance."

            Flip-flopping again. No surprise, though.

          • Aaron

            I'm not so sure the data is flawed, particularly if you take the time to read the reports. The GAO report Jason cited is actually very impressive and I agree with their conclusions. Also, I believe a statistical analysis of the various reports would prove the trends.

            The one problem I've had is finding the source Senator Palumbo's quoted seizures. Eric Eyre gave the same information in a story in the Charleston Gazette but I can find not source for his information.

            Given that it's WV, I'm not so sure that the only flaw isn't in this states reporting. At this rate, I will find out.

          • The bookman

            With all due respect, you both attempted to discredit each other with data that you both agreed to be flawed. So I looked at the data, and the qualifiers indicated the possible inconsistent reporting of law enforcement as to what constitutes a seizure and compliance of each jurisdiction in reporting the seizure. I have enormous respect for the time you commit to providing information from multiple sources, and I agree that the data provided indicates no correlation between the rxPSE and reduction of available PSE for meth production. But to scientifically derive a conclusion in a quantifiable way, I couldn't trust the data, and wouldn't choose to use it to establish a conclusion or argument. This issue of meth doesn't exist in a vacuum, and is impacted by many factors, primarily the desire of the addict to get high. They will not throw their hands in the air and decide the PSE is unattainable sans prescription and be clean. We agree, I think, on this bill. There is just no way to prove our position is correct with the flawed government data in a reliable statistical way. I believe that the onus is on the other side to prove the necessity of the change in treatment of PSE, not our side to stay with the current law. Without compelling data, where is the justification to require the scrip on such a harmless medication?

          • aaron


            Let me see if I can clean my last post up a little.
            I do not disagree with you that there are varying reporting criteria and as a result, that leads to various numbers. I said the same thing to Jason412 a week or so ago and his response was to ignore all the numbers, including those from the report he cited and instead spent 3 days trying to discredit me.

            Since then, I've read about 5 different reports. Each has had different numbers but the trends, which compared were the same whether taken individually of combined. The percentage reduction in meth lab incidents remained consistent no matter how you looked at the reports. With that in mind and as Jason412 was the one to first mention the GAO report, it's just easier to cite that report.

            Like you, I do not oppose a prescription law for any other reason than I know it's not going to do what supporters say it will. I have studied the issue now on two separate occasions and what I have found both times is that all a requirement does is increase cost with little to no reduction in meth labs. If the evidence did demonstrate that a prescription requirement were effective, I would have lobbied that it be passed years ago when Senator Foster first brought the subject forth.

          • aaron

            "In reading the sites from where they came there are disclaimers throughout noting the inconsistent methodology by which jurisdictions report their data, if at all."

            I stated the exact same thing to Jason412 a week ago when he questioned the Cascade Report and instead of admitting that reports varied and instead admitting the trends that are similar in the reports, I've read, he tried to discredit me.

            I have no problem in not accepting the numbers of 1 specific report given that the trends are similar in each report regarding Oregon, Mississippi, and the surrounding states, there is enough evidence to support what I've stated numerous times; the data is clear in that requiring a prescription does not dramatically reduce the number of meth lab incidents.

          • The bookman

            To be consistent Aaron, I place no credibility in any of the meth seizure lab numbers presented in any of the posts by you or Jason. In reading the sites from where they came there are disclaimers throughout noting the inconsistent methodology by which jurisdictions report their data, if at all. I will agree that given a regional control, assuming similar reporting criteria, it is difficult to infer any correlation in this law's success as a deterrent to meth production. Those assumptions would only solidify my viewpoint on the issue.

            But I stand by the principle that if the data is inconsistent and unverifiable, then it should not be given any weight in drawing a conclusion.

          • Aaron

            "There is ZERO evidence that is verifiable by any standard that this will be successful. ZERO! If it were successful, states would be lining up to require the scrip, and I would be a supporter."

            Actually the evidence states the opposite as government studies prove beyond any doubt that prescription requirements do little to add to the reduction in meth lab incidents than was surrounding states are doing. Jason412 cites Mississippi's numbers above to KK but he fails to mention the reduction is Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia of Florida because they contradict his argument and prove a prescription requirement is no more effective than other measures undertaken by other states.

          • The bookman


            You continue to use that argument, and have either neglected to read the link or refuse to accept Nexafed's own admission of its limitations. And I wasn't suggesting that Nexafed would be an enhancement to the allergy rotation regimen by adding it to the mix. Your committed to the change for your own reasons, I surmise largely due to some close to you who have suffered from meth abuse as you have stated before. I get that. I'm against not because I don't think meth is a major problem, or that I don't care. I'm against it because I don't like government intrusion for the sake of feeling good about ourselves. There is ZERO evidence that is verifiable by any standard that this will be successful. ZERO! If it were successful, states would be lining up to require the scrip, and I would be a supporter. It is much fanfare for no show, and I, for one, have long ago tired of this death of responsibility by a thousand cuts.

          • Jason412

            Just to add to my last post on tamper resistant, I once again refer to Oxycontin as it's one of the only drugs I know that has been tamper resistant for a while.

            If Oxycontin worked for a cancer patients pain pre-reformulation, when they reformulated it and made it tamper resistant they didn't stop prescribing it, Oxycontin still is one of the top medicines for severe chronic pain it's just nowhere near as easily abused. Reformulated Oxycontin is not exactly identical in bio-availability as the original, because of the nature of what makes it tamper resistant it's not broken down in your stomach exactly the same, but it's close enough in bio-equivalence that the difference in effects is minimal when not being abused.

            Nexafed is the same thing. If PSE works for sinuses, tamper resistant PSE will work for sinuses.

          • Jason412

            Claritin and Zyrtec are two completely different drugs. I feel for your son, as I have been doing the same thing he has to do for the last 5 years, bouncing between Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec.

            Nexafed and Sudafed are the same drug. It's far different then building a tolerance to Loratadine (Claritin) and switching to Ceterizine (Zyrtec) because you will be switching from PSE (Sudafed) to PSE (Nexafed)

            If Nexafed was a completely different drug, and not just a tamper-resistant form of the same drug, that argument would make more sense.

            If you build a tolerance to Nexafed, then you've built a tolerance to the original Sudafed.

          • The bookman

            My second son suffers from allergies. His allergist explained to us that the multitude of allergy meds is helpful in that each one works a little differently. Over time your body will get used to Claritin, and it will stop working. We were to switch to Zyrtec to get relief and continue until it stops working. And so on and so on. Slight differences in structure of compounds, not the actual compound itself, but structure can make all the difference. Right handed vs left handed versions of the same exact drug can act differently in different people. That is why some doctors will prescribe only the name brand vs the generic version of what is supposed to be the same drug.

            For some Claritin was a miracle drug. For some it had no effect at all. Nexafed and others will be the same. But to say that those who claim it doesn't work for them have a preconceived rejection about Nexafed is not a fair reflection of the reality of allergy medication efficacy.

          • Jason412

            So at 4 hours after taking the medicine 220 ng/ml will clear up everyone's sinuses (as it seems everyone agrees PSE works) but 210 ng/ml wont? At 6 hours 150 ng/ml doesn't work, but 155 does? Those numbers are obviously rounded.

            I haven't taken organic chemistry so maybe this isn't a great analogy, but I know if I take 2 500mg tylenol to help a headache on a regular, and I break a tiny little piece off one of those tylenol's so basically taking 950mg it's a very minuscule, even unnoticeable, difference.

            I just find it hard to believe Nexafed can still be used to make meth, but wont work at all to clear sinuses. I think people have convinced themselves it wont work, because they don't want it to.

          • The bookman

            If you ever had organic chemistry you would know that almost identical is enough to be completely unlike.

            It may work for some, but not all. It may work better for some, or not at all. It solves nothing in this argument.

          • Jason412


            Going by your link, Page 2 of it, not the Page 3 you link. Nexafed is almost identical in bioequivalence to the original Sudafed. So, why will all these law abiding citizens need to miss work and go to the doctor to get Sudafed when they can get something that works exactly the same when taken orally and purchase it from behind the pharmacy counter?

            So why would it end up costing us a quarter billion dollars, if you can have almost identical amounts of PSE in your system from buying Nexafed at your local pharmacy?

            Link is here
            www. nexafed.com/e-detail/trust-nexafed/

          • Aaron

            And with ACA providing Medicaid cards for most smurfs, taxpayers will foot the bill for their raw material.

      • David

        I agree, Bookman.

  • don

    A stupid law which will only penalize law abiding citizens.

  • Low Rider

    A bunch of do-gooders in the legislature actually believe this will have an impact on the meth makers? Really? While folks like me, who purchase 2 boxes of Advil Cold & Sinus per year now have to get a prescription????

    I see my physician once per year for a physical. Now I have to see him multiple times to get a prescription. Who do you think is going to pay for that?

  • Enough is enough

    Make the normal law abiding citizen pay again. We need tougher penalties for drug abusers. Jail time isn't the fix.

  • jim

    Anyone that believes this will even slow down Meth labs has not been paying attention. When they limited sales and took it off shelves did it make a difference ....no, and this will only make a difference to law abiding citizens and cause crime rates to go up to cover the elevated Meth prices.