Bill Limiting Pseudoephedrine Prescriptions Dead for the Year

A bill to reduce the amount of some medications that can be sold without a prescription is dead for the year, reports the News Sentinel.
House Bill 617 would’ve reduced the amount of pseudoephedrine cold medication that can be purchased as part of the fight against meth. It unanimously passed out of a House Health Committee on Wednesday, but was stopped in the Senate when it was sent to the General Subcommittee, officials said.
State Rep. Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport, who sponsored the bill, expects it to pass the House. He said he then would most likely lay the bill on his desk until the next session so the Senate can reconsider it.
“When it got parked in the Senate General Subcommittee, I almost cried,” he said. “This is the first time we’ve been able to get our hands around this.”
Meth is made using household chemicals such as drain cleaner and lantern fuel to break down pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in some popular cold and sinus pills. The process also creates toxic waste and can cause explosions and fires. Individuals get around limits by “smurfing” or using fake identification to make multiple pseudoephedrine purchases.
Current state law allows individuals to purchase 300 pills or 12 packs with 9 grams of pseudoephedrine per month, Shipley said.
HB617 would reduce the allowable amount to 240 pills or 10 packs with 7.2 grams of pseudoephedrine per month, he said.
“That’s still a lot of pills. The average person takes less than 24 pills in a year,” he said. “We’re not inconveniencing anyone but meth dealers.”

Leave a Reply