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Making Common Meth Precursor Prescription-Only Would Cost Indiana Millions, Study Says

3.18.2015 – Kara Berg, Ball State Daily

The attempt of Indiana legislators to make ephedrine and pseudoephedrine available only by prescription could cost Indiana millions of dollars on healthcare, a new Ball State study says.

Pseudoephedrine is a common ingredient in common cold and allergy medicines and in methamphetamine.

Michael Hicks, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, and Srikant Devaraj, a senior research associate and project manager, and two of the authors of the study, estimated the impact of making pseudoephedrine a prescription-only drug.

“Typically for any policy analysis, it’s always feasible to look into what the costs and benefits are – that applies to any legislation or public policy,” Devaraj said. “Our goal was to look at what the cost was for this.”

Senate Bill 445 would require drugs that contain ephedrine and pseudoephedrine to be available only by prescription if it is passed, according to the Indiana General Assembly.

The Ball State study estimated there would be a $5.8 million increase in respiratory drug payments to people using Medicaid and a 106 percent increase in antihistamine drug payments.

Read more here.