Retail News Breaks Archives
Rx-for-pseudoephedrine bill in California loses steam
January 13th, 2012
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – In California, legislation to require prescriptions for over-the-counter medicines containing pseudoephedrine stalled in committee this week, with the National Association of Chain Drug Stores applauding opponents of the bill.
NACDS said Friday that the legislation, S.B. 315, would hike health care costs by impeding access to inexpensive medications without achieving its intended effect of reducing the drug abuse and misuse of these products. Pseudoephedrine key ingredient in cold and allergy medicines but is also used in the illicit production of methamphetamine.
The bill failed passage in California's Senate Health Committee on Wednesday but was granted reconsideration. Specifically, the measure aims to eliminate OTC sales of products containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, norpseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine and to require the sale or distribution of such products to be by prescription only. An exemption from the prescription mandate would be made for pediatric liquids containing such ingredients.
"We are pleased that California lawmakers rejected this anti-consumer legislation. Requiring a prescription for over-the-counter products containing pseudoephedrine would be a cure worse than the disease," NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said in a statement. "A prescription requirement would disempower patients in their own health care and would only increase health care costs."
Prescription-only access to such medications would inflate health care expenses through increased doctor visits, prescription pharmacy costs, Medi-Cal costs and insurance premiums, NACDS explained.
NACDS noted that it joined state partners in California to oppose the legislation and said it testified before state lawmakers. The association added that it continues to work with state and federal officials to crack down on pseudoephedrine misuse and abuse, highlighting community pharmacy's commitment to working with law enforcement to facilitate access to information to identify and stop criminal activity while ensuring that patients have access to the medications they rely on to treat illness.