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Don’t Require Prescription For Cold Medicine

12.8.15 – April Aldridge, Indianapolis Star

I write as a concerned parent. My family suffers from seasonal allergies, and we rely on common cold and allergy medicines to help with their symptoms. Legislators in Indiana are trying to require a prescription for these medicines because they contain pseudoephedrine, an ingredient that can be used to produce meth. Like most Hoosiers, I’m worried about the meth problem in our state, but this law would financially hurt my family and other law-abiding citizens, not criminals.

A prescription requirement for medicines containing PSE, such as Sudafed and Aleve-D, would mean repeated trips to the doctor’s office. Ball State University recently released a study and found that PSE prescription laws could cost households up to $61 million in out-of-pocket expenses, per year. Oregon and Mississippi are the two states in the country that have gone down this path, and it hasn’t turned out well. Why? Most of the meth – 90 percent according to the DEA – comes from Mexico.

What has succeeded is preventing convicted criminals from purchasing PSE. Both Oklahoma and Alabama started doing this and meth labs dropped by over 80 percent. A similar approach could also be implemented to supplement NPLEx here in Indiana. Criminals deserve to be punished and my children deserve affordable access to medication. We in Indiana must say no to a prescription requirement for cold and allergy medicine containing PSE.

Read more here.