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Restricting Pseudoephedrine Doesn’t Work

12.17.15 – Joy Krieger, Times Newspapers

As executive director of the St. Louis Chapter of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), I completely understand the rights of those who rely on decongestants – especially those containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) – to treat their cold, cough and allergy symptoms. This need is particularly important in St. Louis, a city recently ranked as the 30th worst city in the United States for fall allergies. We must remember that in the past, some in our state – and others across the county – have attempted to restrict access to medications containing PSE, such as Claritin-D and Allegra-D, because it is used by a few criminals to produce methamphetamine.

However, a new study from Alex Brill, noted economist and CEO of Matrix Global Advisors, demonstrates why prescription requirements are a failed policy that does nothing to treat the underlying cause of meth abuse. As meth labs have decreased across the country, meth use has remained constant because the drug is coming from Mexico at increased rates. In fact, according to Brill’s study, Oregon – a state that has required a prescription for PSE since 2006 – saw a 15-year high in meth-related deaths in 2014 because of meth imported from Mexico.

Missouri has shown tremendous progress stopping meth production but if we want to completely deal with the issue, we must focus on stopping meth at the border and treatment for addicts, instead of making it harder for law-abiding cold and allergy sufferers to get their decongestants.

Read more here.