Legislation has been introduced in Alabama to make all pseudophedrine products available only by prescription. The reason: Criminals buy pseudophedrine-based cold medicines in bulk to make methamphetamine or “meth”. Meth is a highly addictive, life-destroying drug that is rampant across the country. Sand Mountain in particular is a popular spot for the manufacture of meth, earning it the name “Meth Mountain.”
Understandably, our elected officials and law enforcement are concerned about the meth problem. But making over-the-counter cold medicines prescription-only is not the answer. Consider the following:
- Alabama currently has a system in place called NPLEx which allows pharmacists, clerks and law enforcement officials to access customer information at the point of sale and immediately stop a transaction if the customer in question has exceeded his or her monthly PSE purchase limit, or raises additional red flags.
- During the first year using this system, Alabama law enforcement was able to prevent 93,234 boxes of PSE product from being sold.
- Mexican cartels are increasingly supplying the meth in the U.S. Some estimates say approximately 90% of the meth in the U.S. came from Mexico.
- This legislation will punish 98% of Alabamians who simply want relief from cold and allergies because of the 2% that use these medicines to make meth.
- 210,000 Alabamians use PSE products every year. Of these 50,000 are Medicaid recipients. Flooding our doctors offices and requiring innocent Alabamians to come out of pocket for a co-pay will hurt family budgets and have a detrimental affect on the already cash strapped Alabama Medicaid Agency.
- There are alternatives: Senator Bill Holtzclaw (SB344) and Representative Blaine Galliher (HB363) have introduced compromise legislation that limits sales of PSE products to pharmacies only and expands the reach of the NPLEx database.
If you don’t think law-abiding citizens who need relief from cold and/or allergy symptoms should have to spend the time and money for a doctor’s visit because of a few criminals who are abusing the product, then call or email your legislator now!!
State Senate 334-242-7600
State House 334-242-7800