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Legislators Change Proposed Cap On Medical Drug Purchases

Proposed legislation would impose a yearly cap that limits how much ephedrine and pseudoephedrine a person can purchase.

pill package

Photo: Jessica Lucia (Flickr)

Pseudoephedrine is one of the medications that already has some restrictions because of its known use in making methamphetamine.

Lawmakers are proposing to cap the amount of some medications Hoosiers can purchase within one year. The legislation’s author says a good balance has been struck on the amount. But some want much stricter limits.

Indiana currently has both daily and monthly caps on the sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, key ingredients in methamphetamine production. Proposed legislation would place a yearly cap that limits a person to purchasing eight months worth of the drugs typically found in cold and allergy medicines over the counter per year.

Buying any amount over the cap would require a prescription. The bill originally capped it at 10 months.

Richard Feldman, a family physician and former state health commissioner, says the proposed restriction shouldn’t inconvenience the vast majority of Hoosiers.

“For a whole family – number one, I don’t have any family that everybody’s taking Sudafed all the time. And if everybody gets sick at once, probably that amount is going to cover them over an acute illness,” he says.

Justin Swanson, who represents the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, says local communities want to see the state go further than simply setting a cap.

“IACT believes that scheduling and requiring a prescription for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine products will curb meth manufacturing in Indiana by limiting criminal access to these essential ingredients of making meth,” he says.

Legislation making ephedrine and pseudoephedrine prescription drugs was proposed this session but did not advance.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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