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Bill That Would Make Pseudoephedrine Prescription-Only Dies

Those in favor of more regulation for pseudoephedrine say similar actions in other states have significantly reduced meth labs and crime rates.

pills

Photo: Grumpy-Puddin (Flickr)

Pseudophedrine is sometimes used an ingredient in methamphetamine.

Indiana lawmakers killed a bill today that would make the cold-medicine and methamphetamine ingredient  pseudoephedrine prescription-only.

Those in favor of the measure argued it was needed as evidenced by an increase in methamphetamine seizures. The Indiana State Police reported more than 1,800 meth lab seizures in 2013.

In recent years, lawmakers have cut back on the amount of the pseudoephedrine consumers can buy and began participating in NPLEx, a multi-state computerized system that allows law enforcement to track purchases from pharmacies across the country.

Terre Haute Police Sergeant Chris Gallagher, a former narcotics detective with the Vigo County Drug Taskforce, says merely limiting the amount of pseudoephedrine a consumer can buy will not deter those set on making meth.

“With meth, you can buy some pseudoephedrine and a couple other household items, and you can feed your addiction that way,” Gallagher says. “That’s one of the reasons it’s become the main drug in Indiana.”

Gallagher says meth cooks easily skirt the law by employing a growing army of people who buy the ingredients for them using fake ID’s to avoid detection.

Grant Monahan, Indiana Retail Council President, says making commonly used cold and allergy medicine a prescription drug would put a burden on Hoosier consumers.

“It adds cost. It requires the customer to go to the doctor to get his or her prescription in order to simply buy a pseudoephedrine containing product,” Monahan says.

The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard testimony on the bill Monday, but Chairman Judd McMillin but did not take a vote, effectively killing the bill.

McMillin says while he wanted to have a public dialogue, he’s not ready to take the next step to make pseudo ephedrine prescription-only.

Jimmy Jenkins

Jimmy Jenkins is a multimedia journalist for WFIU and WTIU news. A native of Terre Haute, he is a masters student at the Indiana University School of Journalism and is proud to be a part of the public broadcasting stations he listened to and watched since he was a child. Follow him on Twitter @newsjunkyjimmy.

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