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.
CHPA highlights the results of a recent five-state survey from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, which found that consumers on the whole, prefer full access to OTC medicine containing pseudoephedrine.
Today, the manufacturers of OTC medicines containing pseudoephedrine call on Congress to improve the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act by requiring a unified, national electronic tracking system to block illegal sales of PSE‐containing medicines.
Letter from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Food Marketing Institute, the Healthcare Distribution Management Association, and the National Association of Chain Drugstores regarding controlled substances and Lis I chemical registration application fees.
CHPA is deeply concerned that safe and effective medicines manufactured by its member companies are being diverted to manufacture meth. We understand the scope of this problem and are committed to the need for strong action to prevent the diversion of these important medicines to the illegal manufacturing of methamphetamine.
We submit these comments on behalf of CHPA in response to the proposed rule regarding security requirements for manufacturers, distributors, importers, and exporters of pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine.
This letter is submitted on behalf of CHPA, FMI, HDMA, and NACDS. The purpose of the letter is to express our united concern that the DEA’s proposed rule is not supported by existing evidence and will impose a significant burden on the regulated industry.
CHPA and its members share DEA's concerns regarding the diversion of pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine products. However, CHPA does not believe that the notice of proposed rulemaking provides interested parties an adequate record to evaluate and comment upon the security measures DEA now proposes.
These comments are in response to the "interpretive rule" DEA published to provide a "Clarification of the Exemption of Sales by Retail Distributors of Pseudoephedrine and Phenylpropanolamine Products."