Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Stop Meth, Not Meds," ad sponsored by drug industry advises

With some legislators saying a law is needed to make the decongestant pseudoephedrine available only by prescription, the Kentucky Healthcare Products Association has launched an advertising campaign to fight the effort. The radio commercials urge "public support for a bill that would require prescriptions for pseudoephedrine — but only for people with drug convictions," reports Ryan Alessi of cn|2's "Pure Politics." State Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, has pre-filed a bill to that effect.

"Can we really afford to miss work or school to go to our doctor every time someone in our family needs Allegra D and Mucinex D?" a female narrator asks in the ad. "The paper said politicians are pushing this because meth dealers use an ingredient in these medicines to help make their drugs." There seems to be a consensus that pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient to make meth, needs to be made less accessible in order to curb meth production, which has skyrocketed in the past year.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, and Attorney General Jack Conway say Yonts' bill does not go far enough and won't prevent smurfing, "in which meth makers pay others to buy the maximum amount of pseudoephedrine for them," Alessi reports. Stumbo supports a bill drafted by Rep. Linda Belcher, D-Shepherdsville, that would require a prescription for pseudoephedrine but would expire after three years. (Read more)

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