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LTE: Don’t make over-the-counter allergy meds harder to get for young workers

9.27.16 – Mike Edwards, Capitol Beat OK

To The Editor:

Pseudoephedrine (PSE) is a common ingredient in cold and allergy medication that can be bought over-the-counter. It can also be used to manufacture meth, which concerns lawmakers.

Unfortunately, some of our lawmakers are not fully aware of the shortage of physicians in our state and by turning allergy medication into a prescription drug would only make everything worse. The Association of American Medical Colleges recently reported that physicians are drastically lower than what’s needed to ensure adequate treatment. A prescription requirement for PSE products would add another 23,000 doctor visits each year in our state, says Avalere Health who also studied the physician shortage.

As doctors face this growing concern, lawmakers are interested in turning over-the-counter cold and allergy medication into a prescription, which punishes responsible consumers. In addition, this measure is not friendly to our young people who are entering the workforce, because it places an unnecessary strain on their pocketbooks, requiring them to pay for expensive doctor’s visits for something as common as allergies. We need to maintain an environment that is conducive for our newly employed to establish and maintain financial stability.

Read more here.