CHPA Statement on Tennessee Meth Task Force Recommendations

The following is a statement from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association in response to recent recommendations made by Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen’s Task Force on Methamphetamine abuse:

Washington, D.C. (August 20, 2004)—CHPA commends Governor Bredesen and the governor’s Task Force on Methamphetamine Abuse for addressing the corrosive problem of methamphetamine in Tennessee. The task force has made a number of recommendations regarding law enforcement, prevention, and treatment that we believe will significantly reduce the manufacture of, availability of, and demand for methamphetamine in Tennessee.

We are concerned, however, that one aspect of the task force’s proposal regarding precursor chemicals is overly restrictive for law-abiding consumers and will not have its desired result of reducing the manufacture or the consumption of methamphetamine. The task force is recommending that most of the over-the-counter medicines, except liquid, gel cap, and pediatric remedies used to relieve the symptoms of colds, allergies, and asthma, be placed behind the pharmacy counter. Restricting safe, effective over-the-counter decongestants to be dispensed only by pharmacists during pharmacy hours will hinder access to needed medicines without achieving the desired result of discouraging meth production and distribution.

CHPA supports package limits that are accompanied by tough law enforcement initiatives, and community education and participation that have a real impact on the problem. CHPA looks forward to working with the governor and the state of Tennessee on legislation that will provide an effective and comprehensive solution to the devastation that methamphetamine abuse inflicts on individuals, families, and communities.

Contacts: Elizabeth Assey and Virginia Cox, 202.429.9260

CHPA is the 123-year-old trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplement products.