STATEHOUSE — State Sens. Randy Head (R-Logansport) and Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) today, Monday, Dec. 14, announced a plan to help curb meth production by changing the way pseudoephedrine products are sold without requiring a prescription.
Senate Bill 80, authored by Head and co-authored by Merritt, would keep pseudoephedrine products, which are the key ingredient to making meth, behind the counter and require pharmacists to conduct a brief consultation with patients who would like to purchase it. Consumers who want to purchase medicines like Sudafed, a popular decongestant containing pseudoephedrine, would only need the approval from the on-site pharmacist.
Decongestants like Nexafed or Zyphrex D, which work like pseudoephedrine but are both meth-resistant, would remain available for purchase off the shelf.
“This approach is a common-sense solution,” Head said. “Honest Hoosiers would still be able to purchase the medicine they need, and pharmacists would have an active role in identifying and deterring individuals who may be attempting to buy pseudoephedrine for the purpose of making meth. For example, pharmacists could ask questions about the patient’s symptoms and recommend an alternative to a pseudoephedrine product if they suspect the customer has intentions of using the medicine to make meth.”
Merritt said this approach is an ideal alternative to requiring everyone in Indiana to have a prescription for common medicines like Sudafed.
“We know we have a meth problem in Indiana,” Merritt said. “Indiana leads the nation in meth lab seizures, but that doesn’t mean that we should punish everyone who needs to purchase cold medicine for themselves or their family by requiring a prescription. Parents don’t want to, and often cannot, go to the doctor and get a prescription for something like Sudafed every time their child is sick.”
Head filed the bill today. The 2016 legislative session begins Jan. 5.