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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  • by Anonymous on Feb 15, 2013 at 08:26 PM
    I sure hope this doesn't become Michigan law. It would be a real pain in the *ss to have to run to the doctors office every time somebody's nose is stuffy, has congestion, and for those of us with chronic sinus issues. Not only would this be a hassle, it would also result in lost wages from time missed at work, plus the added cost of the office call ($100 /- for those of us w/o fancy insurance. Leave sudafed where it is and let the proper authorities monitor the daily sales like they are doing now.
  • by WTH Location: Location on Feb 15, 2013 at 08:11 AM
    If this medication becomes a prescription, then it should cost the same as it does over the counter. I think it is stupid that because of these druggies we all have to suffer. Ya know what, it's kind of like guns, make it harder to get and they will still get it!!Or they will find something else to use. Those other things they show that are used, are we going to need prescriptions for those too? I mean seriously people.
  • by Anyone Location: Lansing on Feb 15, 2013 at 05:19 AM
    Talk about increasing the cost of health care! Now our wonderful legislature wants to force all of us to go to the Dr when we are stuffy or have a cold. Because Dr offices are typically open 8am - 5pm, this will force us all to take time off work. And what if I don't have insurance? I now have the cost of the visit to the Dr, the time off of work that I may not get paid for AND the cost of the drug. All because there are people out there who want to use it to make illegal drugs. How about you stop cutting the revenue sharing with local governments and funding for state police so that they can find and arrest the drug distributers?
  • by MARK Location: LANSING on Feb 14, 2013 at 04:29 PM
    I need this type of medicine due to lifelong allergies. Some years I need a box every other month to keep from getting sinus infections. Doctors will not prescribe antibiotics as these infections are sometimes viral. I have no choice other than to use sudafed type medicine. Now to get into see a doctor it takes 3-5 days for anything other than an emergency. To get a prescription now for this is ridiculous. No doctor will prescribe any medicine without seeing you and charging me $96 for an office visit. There has to be a better way than making people like me get a prescription.
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