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Bills Targeting Meth Production Advance Out Of Committee

Days after the House shot down a prescription-only bill targeting pseudoephedrine sales, two other bills targeting meth production in Indiana advanced out of Senate committee Tuesday.

The first bill, authored by GOP Senator Mike Young, prevents drug offenders from purchasing pseudoephedrine - a key ingredient for most meth cooking in Indiana.

The second bill mandates pharmacists consult with customers asking for drugs containing pseudoephedrine and steer them toward meth-deterrent alternatives. It would also empower pharmacists to turn away suspicious customers.

That bill raised questions from committee members worried that legitimate customers might be turned away. Chief among them is Democratic Senator Greg Taylor, who says the bill essentially turns pharmacists into law enforcement. And Taylor says he disagrees with letting pharmacists decide who can buy certain drugs based on the way they look.

Despite a lengthy back-and-forth, the pervading sense among committee members was that of urgency – Young says after years spent discussing the meth lab problem, nothing yet has worked.

“I think that one or both bills will probably pass the Senate, I don’t know what will happen in the House," Young says. "So we’ll have to wait and see. We’ve gotta keep trying, gotta keep doing it until we get it done.”

Pharmacists supporting the consultation bill say the process is less intrusive than it sounds, based on experience with a similar ordinance passed last year in Fulton County.

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