AUGUSTA – Allergy medicine might be a little tougher to purchase next year, if a bill requiring prescriptions for Sudafed gets approved.
For the past several years, you’ve had to ask for some allergy medicines, then show proper identification before the clerk would sell it to you. That’s because pseudophedrine is a key ingredient in methamphetamine manufacturing.
That hasn’t slowed down the number of meth labs popping up across the state. Last year, Maine Drug Enforcement Agents dismantled a record number of the labs.
Representative Janice Cooper, D-Yarmouth, said “I come before you to present a bill that if enacted could nip an emerging drug epidemic in the bud.”
Police said a meth lab exploded last week in Old Town, causing the death of the cook.
“A prescription for cold medications, allergy medications that contain an ingredient, a precursor for the manufacture of methamphetamine.” added Cooper.
Now the sponsor of this bill is not optimistic that it will make it through and become law. She said that’s because big pharmaceutical companies oppose it. And, representatives for the industry said this proposal would create hardships for the average Mainer.
Carlos Gutierrez from Consumer Healthcare Products Associations stated “Having to go to the doctor, having to take time off from work, having to pay co-pays, we think that’s too much of a hardship for the perceive benefits of this legislation.”
When Mississippi enacted similar legislation, the number of dismantled meth labs dropped from more than 300 to eight.