View Full Version : How do you feel about the Pseudophedrine law a/k/a "Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act"?
01-31-2007, 07:26 PM
When the current Administration made amendments to the Patriot Act in 2005, part of it included the new law where you are required to show ID and provide a signature when purchasing any medication that includes pseudophedrine in its formula.
That means that manufacturers that wanted to keep their medicines on shelves (and not behind pharmacy counters) had to reformulate their OTC meds. Most of them either discontinued their medications outright, or switched to phenylephrine. A few manufacturers chose to keep their original formulations, but now consumers are limited to how many/how often they can purchase, and are inconvenienced. If the pharmacy section of your store is closed, you're out of luck.
So, what do you think?
Do you think that the next administration will continue with this law?
Does a small contingent of society get to dictate how the rest of us function?
I'm really interested to hear what you think.
01-31-2007, 07:34 PM
Is this the law that moved Sudafed & such behind the RX counter? I had no idea it had to do with the patriot act! Ignoramus I am.
I don't know the background behind it (haven't read the link yet) but I find it incredibly annoying. That said, if the reasoning was compelling enough, I'd say my inconvenience was worth it.
01-31-2007, 07:50 PM
As a former ER nurse who has cared for many a kid who is abusing pseudoephedrine I am all for it. I don't find it an inconvenience at all and am glad they are finally letting the public know that "pseudo ephedrine" is just that-a form of ephedrine-that means speed. We used to take it in college if we knew we needed to stay awake for an exam. Didn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Just a couple smart freshmen.
I hate phenylephrine. Makes my head spin so I happily stand on line at the pharmacy for the real stuff on the rare occasion that I need it.
Barbara-mom to Jack 3/27/03, a Red Sox fan
and Anna 5/12/05, my little Yankee fan!
01-31-2007, 08:21 PM
I don't mind it.
I saw a very sad slideshow presented to my city's council by the AZ Attorney General showing young children living in homes that were turned into meth labs. Bowls of meth were sitting within reach of these children, their cribs held ingedients while the children slept on the ground next to it. Police could not touch the babies to take them out because they were contaminated and had to be covered in special material first to protect the safety of the police officers. It was very sad and something I won't forget.
01-31-2007, 09:02 PM
I live in the Pacific NW, so we've been dealing with various forms of this law for a few years now. Oregon has a pretty big meth problem. While this type of law isn't going to effect the large meth labs in Mexico, it is designed to reduce the number of home meth labs. A while back there was a newspaper article talking about the effects of meth abuse and home labs on children. I have no problem going through the extra hassle involved.
01-31-2007, 09:46 PM
I voted that it's not fair. Not because it's an inconvience to have to go to the pharm counter and show ID - I don't have a problem with that, but because I only ever had the NyQuil gelcaps work for me when I had a cold (for some reason, Sudafed does jack for me) and they reformulated to stay on the shelves, so now I don't know what to use (hate liquids) and because my DS would *only* take the Triamic Softchews for Stuffy Noses, Coughs, and Fevers and of course they took that off the market rather than put it behind the counter. Then of course, after spending for-fricking-ever in the aisle trying to find a chewable that works for stuffy noses that he *might* take (only likes certain flavors), i had to go to THREE different drugstores to find one that had any left behind the counter, so I'm pretty sure the freaking tweaking meth makers can still find a way to get it and since they don't really care about the flavor it's only a slight inconvenience and they have to find a few more addicts that will go into the drugstore to pick up supplies.*
Then there were the 17 and 19 year old girls that came into the ER last week when I was there who had take 15 to 20 Coricidin each to get high. Coricidin is behind the counter, so obviously they were able to get their hands on a couple of boxes with very little trouble.
(*sorry, this was Monday, so the frustration is fresh in my mind)
02-01-2007, 02:20 AM
I voted for it. Living in mo. we have a large problem with it. farmers get robbed on a regular basis and tanks of chemicals are left to leak and whole subdivisions evacuated.
Yes waiting in line is a big pita,I try to buy the meds at walgreens when the kids are at home w/ dh. But since pediacare reformulated I've had to switch to triamenic and we've never used it before. I'm ticked about having to leave pediacare but they've not only reformulated but also are offering fewer products and nothing that works on runny noses and coughs together.
02-01-2007, 02:42 AM
In Oregon (State law) you now need a Dr's prescription to get pseudophedrine. I don't know the exact stats, but I vaguely remember reading recently that in the last year the incidence of meth labs has decreased a dramatic amount (something like 65 or 80%). I was put out by the law initially, but when I read that statistic, it was enough to make me happy it had been changed (to require a Dr's prescription).
02-01-2007, 03:21 AM
hmm, well, i guess in a way, i kinda see this like gun control. i totally don't mean to start a political debate by opening that can of worms, but honestly, that's how i see it. they're kind of in a philosophically similar vein for me.
and since i'm in favor of things like criminal background checks, waiting periods, closing gunshow loopholes, mandatory childproofing of all handguns sold, etc, it would follow that my thinking on this issue would be similar.
but for the record, i'm also biased - i have an extreme sensativity to pseudoephedrine - so i'm thrilled with all the manufacturers that reformulated and that there are now so many options out there i could take if i really felt the need (although i'm so used not taking anything after all these years where pseudoephedrine was it, that it's a rare thing anyway). and for my husband who misses the 'old' nyquil, well, i do feel a little bad for him, but hey, now i can take it too :).
just some history: when they pulled phenylpropanolamine off the market about 6 years ago now, i lost the only OTC decongestant that really worked for me and didn't make me throw up, pass out, etc. like psuedoephedrine does. as bummed out as i was that it affected me personally, i understood why the FDA did it at the time. hemorrhagic stroke in young women, no matter how small the number, is just not really something that should be a widely available OTC medicine - yes it was on the market for 50 years, but for that long, pharmacists were aware of the potential for stroke in these kinds of drugs (which are basically amphetimines as far as their chemical structure goes). it was up to be pulled in 1994, but the drug company lobby worked a deal such that the Yale 5 year study would be done. but oops, the study only verified the risk and so phenylprop was pulled. so 200-500 strokes in women a year were prevented, but there were some unforseen consequences. one is that it led to the last half decade where pseudoephedrine was in EVERYTHING, and so easily/cheaply available that kids started figuring out how to get high off of it. two was that the other major thing phenylprop was in was diet pills. so the drug companies reformulated to the unregulated 'supplement' ephedra and we've all seen the disasterous effects of that in the news in the last 5 years as well. i'm just rambling here, but i suppose that i consider this current situation, where the manf. have reformulated to a (hopefully) less likely to be abused/safer drug, while still leaving the pseudoephedrine available behind the counter for those that want to use it kinda works in everyone's best interest, no?
Sam 5/19/05 How lucky I am that you chose me.
02-01-2007, 03:22 AM
I put that it wasn't fair. Not entirely for the inconvenience (though I admit that is part of it) but because I feel they could have tried other methods before doing this. Like putting them in a locked cabinet in the same aisle and having to have a store clerk *any* store clerk get only one(!) box out for the customer. And I feel that the sales clerk can card the person at checkout (or even when they unlock the box) and this would limit use by young teens, etc abusing this drug.
Just because they put this behind a counter and card for it doesnt mean the kids that are abusing it or the criminals using it in meth labs arent able to get it in other ways. What about alcohol? They card for that and yet how many ppl under 21 have consumed alcolho?
It is a big pain in the butt for me being overseas and using only a military facility to receive general 'over the counter' medications. When this law took effect they pulled everything off the shelfs and since there is no pharmacy on *any* military base that is not solely medical prescription only, there is no way I can get the meds that I used to like Pedia-sure.
I have seen the meth labs, and no several under cover agents and other police personnel that are forced to deal w/ these meth labs (growing up in CA). I do feel its sad but like I said before I think they could come up w/ better protective measures, the ppl are still going to get it either way if they really want it.
02-01-2007, 08:00 AM
Actually, at my local drug store, the locked cabinet is in the same aisle as the other cold meds so all I have to do is ask either the store manager or most of the time the owner is around with the key. It really isn't an inconvenience for me at all and I think if it is saving a life, it is worth it.
02-01-2007, 08:13 AM
I'm all for it too, but I find it a huge inconvenience! DH doesn't like the new stuff. So, we each have to go to buy him stuff - some for day and some for night. I try now to just always have some on hand so I'm not running around for him, but I don't always remember.
02-01-2007, 08:15 AM
DH takes Sudafed regualarly and honestly, it doesn't bother me a bit to ask the pharmacist for the medicine.
I can't find pediatric doses anymore. The adult doses, the ones used to make meth, are still available behind the counter. The new formulations make my 4 year old wild.
02-01-2007, 09:37 AM
I think it is a big pain in the arse, and we do have a harder time finding the medications we need. But since they have started the law in the state where I live the estimated number of meth labs has gone way down. We had (have) a lot of them in our state. They are usually old houses/trailers that may people live in as well as make make meth in, the process can be very dangerous. Sometimes children live there too which scares the crap out of me. So I am begrudgingly for it, even though I wish it wasn't necessary.
02-02-2007, 04:57 AM
Our state has some serious ice problems, with meth labs all over the place, crazy high people driving and wandering the streets, and high property crime. I'm all for anything that will tone some of that down. It doesn't bother me that much that I have to ask a pharmacist. It's an extra 2 minutes.
I think the law here was written so that any one person who tries to acquire more than a reasonable amount of product will be flagged and visited by the DEA.
What really bugs me is the death of Tavist D. I know there were problems with it, but it was the only thing that ever helped me feel better when I had a cold. I loaded up on it when I found out it was going off the market but of course I ran out a decade ago. :( RIP.
02-03-2007, 02:48 AM
The Pacific NW is meth central. It has devastated, and I mean devastated, entire towns and counties throughout Oregon and Washington state. When logging and other industry like paper milling went out, economic depression set in and some people who were not able to move into different fields or cities either turned to addiction or to selling for an income source. I know it is an issue elsewhere as well but it has been especially pronounced in the NW. The home labs are a danger not just to the people cooking the crap up and their children but to their neighbors as well. I don't think you can watch the news here for long without hearing about some meth lab accident or bust. Fires, explosions etc. I still remember years ago the one that was in *home daycare* center. x( I am all for making it as hard as possible to get the stuff to manufacture this junk at home. I have noticed, in traveling and also in talking to people that it is the states where meth is not the drug of choice that people either don't support or understand this law. I have been able to pick out the meth labs on the edges of my city since I was about 13. I have 2 family friends that moved to rural WA and lost children to meth related death. Take a driving trip along the WA state coast and into Oregon and chat with the local law enforcement sometime. These laws make good sense and help protect a lot of children and innocent neighbors.
02-03-2007, 10:57 AM
I'm willing to be inconvenienced if it means trying to help people not harm themselves so easily.
02-04-2007, 02:26 AM
ITA with everything you said.
We have a cinderblock house down the street from us that's alleged to be a home meth lab, but b/c the guy is a drug informant who rolls over on others, there's nothing we can do about his presence in the neighborhood. He's been arrested and convicted and sentenced for tens of other unrelated crimes--animal abuse (he breeds pit bulls to fight in illegal gambling rings), stalking, harrassment, disturbing of the peace, but b/c he's an "informant" the sentence is always suspended with "probation." It's enough to make me sick. Trust me, when you see sparks coming out of someone's chimney in the middle of the summer, people are up to no good. I 100% wholeheartedly support the measures in our state. I haven't yet in 2-ish years had to buy pseudoephedrine products over the counter b/c my Dr. always prescribes me an awesome Mucinex D- guiafen/sudafed combo pill for a $3 copay, so my name is already logged with the state when I pick up my meds...and I could care less...I have nothing to hide.
There's a huge meth problem in our 6-city area....it's rumored to run half the circuit for the eastern seaboard, so I have a vested interest in seeing this policy continue. Am I bummed DayQuil isn't the same....oh heavens yes!...but do I care more about our illegal drug issues and all the money that is funneled back to drug cartels, gang activity, and children lost to the drug? Absolutely. Inconvenience me all day long!
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