Friday, March 9, 2012

Campbellsville pharmacists have mixed views about meds-for-meth bill; a good example of localizing a statewide issue

Pharmacists have mixed opinions about a bill that would require a prescription to purchase pseudoephedrine after a monthly or yearly limit has been reached, reports Calen McKinney for the Central Kentucky News Journal in Campbellsville. (Photo by McKinney)

The drug is the key ingredient used to make methamphetamine. Last week the Senate approved a bill that would limit non-prescription individuals' purchases to 7.2 grams per month and 24 grams per year.

Tresa Phillips at Nation's Medicines in Campbellsville told McKinney she feels the system in place now — an instant computer tracking system called MethCheck — is working. "I'm not sure that a new law is going to make a big difference," she said, adding that a person who is buying the drug already has to show state-issued identification.

However, Jay Eastridge at Eastridge-Phelps Pharmacy applauded the move. "It sort of restricts pseudoephedrine getting into the wrong hands," he said. "I wholeheartedly support the bill." Eastridge said pharmacists have become "gatekeepers" in the face of the meth epidemic and "it's just painful to watch" people coming in "from one drug store to the next seeing what they can get."

Ed Baise of the Medicine Centre agreed that pharmacists have "become the police" when it comes to limiting pseudoephedrine. But he said the drug should be put in a class of its own and pharmacists should be responsible for controlling purchases. Baise pointed out allergy sufferers could be inconvenienced by the bill. "This may help some," he said, "but it's not gonna solve the problem." (Read more)

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