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Daily Mail: Short Takes

For years, some doctors and law enforcement officials have lobbied legislators to require a prescription to get over-the-counter decongestants that contain pseudoephedrine. A small percentage of the sales are to people who use it to home-brew meth in meth labs. Every time the drug industry uses an alternative approach, the lobbyists for prescriptions pooh-pooh the efforts. The latest effort – an electronic real-time tracking of purchases – though, may be working. Doctors say home brewers are switching from decongestants that are based solely on pseudoephedrine to ones that use two or more active ingredients. “Claritin-D is becoming the product of choice,” Dr. Brad Henry told the Gazette; http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140909/GZ01/140909215/1419. “As we tighten the chains and have many drugstores going to the single-ingredient product, [meth makers] are going to find the next easiest product.” Claritin-D is based on loratadine and pseudoephedrine. So we require prescriptions for anything with pseudoephedrine and meth heads will switch to something else, which will then require a prescription. Instead of making people go to a doctor anytime they have a stuffy nose, legislators should concentrate efforts to shut down meth labs on the meth heads themselves.