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House Committee Considers Pseudoephedrine Regulation Options

Physicians, law enforcement officials, retailers and local government representatives spent the bulk of their limited time in the House Public Health Committee debating an issue that isn’t on the table. Their conversation focused on whether to make pseudoephedrine, a key meth ingredient, available only through a prescription.

The committee discussed three bills. One requires people to be a patient-of-record with a pharmacy in order to have unfettered access to pseudoephedrine. Another bill limits people to a 30-day supply without a prescription.

Law enforcement, local government leaders and pharmacists support those two options – yet make clear that the best way forward is making pseudoephedrine available only with a prescription.

“But we will take anything we can get to help us in this fight," says Delaware County Prosecutor Jeff Arnold says.

Retailers and some physicians’ groups oppose those two measures, which they say inconvenience Hoosiers.  They support a third bill that would bar drug felons from buying pseudoephedrine.

“This is a law enforcement issue," says Richard Feldman of the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians. "It should be solved by law enforcement, not burdening the 400 thousand legitimate Hoosiers that use pseudoephedrine.”

The committee will meet Wednesday to decide which measure should advance. A combination of proposals are possible.

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