Lawmaker: Sudafed Should be Prescription Only

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

 "The substance abuse is a very difficult situation to control and how do you balance the good the drug does vs the potential harm when people use it for what it's not supposed to be used for."

MPA Chief Executive Officer Larry Wagenknecht

Medications that have the ingredient pseudoephedrine help treat nasal and sinus congestion commonly caused by the cold or an allergy. They're stored behind the counter at the pharmacy, but you can buy it just by showing a driver's license. Pseudoephedrine is also used to create methamphetamine and for some lawmakers, it's a problem that cannot be overlooked.

"Not a week goes by where we don't have another meth lab busted, a fire, an explosion," said Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette.

Rep. Kivela sponsored a new bill that would require people to get a prescription to buy any medicine containing pseudoephedrine. The hope is to cut down on meth production and he says it's been shown to work in other states.

"By doing that Oregon and Mississippi cut their meth labs and their production by 90% to 95%," said Rep. Kivela.

However, is it too much to ask people to see their doctor before getting something for the common cold?

"I wouldn't mind going to a doctor's office if we could keep a few drugs off the street," said Holt resident Jim Cullimore.

Mason resident Amy Moore said "it would be a pain."

The Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) has not taken an official position on the bill, but expressed some concern.

"Forcing a person to go to a physician and incur those expenses before getting the medication is one of the issues we do have some concerns about," said MPA Chief Executive Officer Larry Wagenknecht.

"Understanding it will be an inconvenience for some, but the greater effect on society right now far outweighs the benefits of a few," said Rep. Kivela.


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