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Changing drug law to fight meth could cost Indiana millions of dollars

3.11.15 –Marc RansfordBall State University

The attempt to reduce Indiana’s meth problem by creating prescription-only policies for medicines containing pseudoephedrine — an ingredient of the highly addictive drug — could cost Indiana millions of dollars, says a new study from Ball State University.

The Cost-Benefit Analysis of Pseudoephedrine Drug Laws in Indiana,” an analysis by the university’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), found that the annual cost for a prescription-only law could range from $28.2 to $92.2 million each year in increased Medicaid spending, decreased tax revenues, increased household spending for medicine and doctor visits and reduced business productivity.

The Indiana General Assembly has considered changing cold and allergy medicines with pseudoephedrine (PSE) from over the counter (OTC) to prescription-only for several years in an effort to combat the rising addiction of meth, also known as crystal meth. In 2006, Oregon was the first state to adopt prescription-only laws, with Mississippi following in 2010.

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