Pseudoephedrine (PSE) is a safe and effective active ingredient found in leading cold, allergy, and sinus medicines to provide congestion relief. While over 18 million American families rely on these medicines every year, PSE can also be used in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine. As a result, some policymakers and law enforcement officials in a number of states support requiring a doctor’s prescription to obtain PSE-containing medicines, even though the vast majority of these medicines are sold to law-abiding consumers.
Preventing Illegal Meth Production
CHPA takes the diversion of its members' medicines very seriously and remains committed to working with elected officials to ensure states have the necessary tools to combat illegal sales of PSE. Mandating prescription-only sale of these common cold medicines, however, would be ineffective and burden those who depend on these medicines for relief with unnecessary and costly visits to the doctor.
The bipartisan federal Combat Meth Epidemic Act strikes the proper policy balance between restricting pseudoephedrine access for illicit use without unduly burdening consumers seeking safe, effective cold relief. Therefore, state legislators should refrain from overriding federal guidelines requiring prescriptions for these legitimate over-the-counter medications.