usa-map usa-map

Learn more about the dangers of smurfing here

Learn more

Editorial: Meth bill Would Demand Too Much Of Pharmacists

1.26.16 – Kokomo Tribune

This one is fraught with landmines.

A bill approved this week by an Indiana Senate committee would enable pharmacists to diagnose a customer’s condition and determine whether to allow the customer to purchase medicine containing pseudoephedrine. Under current Indiana law, consumers need to show their driver’s license to buy such medicine.

The bill is an alternative to another proposal, rejected repeatedly by the Legislature, that would require a physician’s prescription to purchase medicine containing pseudoephedrine. Other states have found similar laws to be highly effective in reducing the making and use of the illegal and volatile drug methamphetamine. Pseudoephedrine is a main ingredient used in the manufacturing of meth.

But this new Indiana bill, and a similar one that was to be considered Monday by the House Public Health Committee, just doesn’t make sense.

It would empower a group of people who are not physicians to make snap judgments, based largely on appearance, about whether a customer really needs a certain kind of medicine, or whether they will use it illegally to make meth.

Such discretion does not belong with pharmacists, nor should they want it. It would take them away from their core responsibility, dispensing prescription medicine accurately, according to the orders of physicians. It would be impossible to assure that pharmacists applied this discretion consistently from store to store and day to day.

And think of the potential liability. Let’s say a well-meaning pharmacist decides that a customer really does need pseudoephedrine, so he or she allows the person to purchase it. Then the person uses it to cook a batch of meth. Now, let’s say, a person who uses that batch of meth suffers a heart attack and dies.

The pharmacist, potentially, could be held liable for the death of the meth user.

Perhaps the biggest pitfall of this bill, however, is that it is patently unfair to consumers. The ability to purchase a cold medicine that can make them feel better would depend upon the whim of a pharmacist. How could that be considered fair? It’s another lawsuit waiting to happen.

The same Senate committee has also approved the bill that would require convicted drug offenders to have a physician’s prescription to purchase medicine containing pseudoephedrine.

Read more here.