Treating colds may become more difficult

July 7, 2010
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There’s been a lot of talk recently about cracking down on the sale of over-the-counter medicine that has ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in it. Indiana legislators will study the issue this summer and decide whether to pursue requiring a prescription for these drugs.

In the last few years, these OTC drugs have been moved behind the pharmacy window and require you to show a valid ID and sign your name. It’s a minor inconvenience as compared to having to go to the doctor to get a prescription for a certain kind of Sudafed. A new law also requires pharmacies to post signs saying that if you buy more than 3.6 grams of it in one day, you are committing a crime.

If I have a cold, and I know a certain type of OTC drug which happens to have ephedrine or pseudoephedrine in it works to make me feel better, I’m going to want to take it. Colds are annoying and usually don’t require making a trip to the doctor. In fact, I’m sure most doctors aren’t going to want to see an increase in patients who just have colds.

But if this proposal becomes law, you’ll have to contact your doctor. Maybe they will just write a prescription without seeing you or call it in to the pharmacy, but I know many doctors like to see their patients before writing prescriptions. This law may lead to increased costs because you may have a co-pay or office visit fee. You’ll have to wait until the pharmacy can fill the prescription. Colds may get even more annoying and costly.

Supporters argue that making OTC medicine with these drugs in them more difficult to obtain will help fight against methamphetamine production. It’s possible, but it’s also possible and very likely that those who want to make meth will find other ways to get the drugs. Pain killers require a prescription, but people still find ways to abuse them. Some people also rob pharmacies to get those drugs. Who’s to say that won’t be the case with ephedrine and pseudoephdrine? Perhaps meth makers will find alternative ingredients to use to make the drug.

What do you think? Does this proposal go too far in trying to fight meth or is it about time our state cracked down even harder on the drug?

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  • From the same people ...?
    Did this come from the same people who gave us the brilliant idea of "carding" octgenerians purchasing a 375 ml of sherry? They are also probably the same people who rail against health care reform because it's too costly and involves governmental intervention in health care decisions. Enough already! The General Assembly faces the toughest budget session in memory, and we waste money on this nonsense.
  • An Unnecessary Burden on Law Abiding Citizens
    This proposed law would have too much of an impact on the daily lives of citizens. If passed, anyone who gets a common cold will have to spend time making a doctors appointment, time going to the doctor, spend money for a doctor's appointment, spend time going to the pharmacy, spend extra money on current OTC medications. This places an incredible burden on families, businesses and schools. The amount of lost productive time is immeasurable. The increased out-of-pockiet costs to individuals and families could be in the hundreds to the thousands per year.

    Once again, the Indiana State Legislature is turning a blind eye to the needs of law abiding citizens. This law would treat us like we are the criminals, while the criminals will certainly find ways to continue to engage in their illegal activities.

    The legislature needs to make sure this proposed law does not reach the House or Senate floor for a vote.

    This imposition on the daily lives of citizens will be ridiculous. The legislature should not put another burdensome and bureaucratic practice in place on the backs of state citizens. This is a solution in search of a problem. Put the focus on improvement of law enforcement, rather than force citizens to lose time and money on a a useless exercise.
  • Who are you kidding
    It sounds to me that the legislature wants to put enforcing illegal drug activity enforcement on the backs of drug stores and doctors and out of the hands of the police who seem to be incompetent to do so. Still no excuse to make this a prescription drug. I suspect that the AMA is behind this to get an office call charge from the patient. I know doctors who charge an office call fee for just calling in a script.
  • Dumb laws
    Another salvo fired in the totally ineffective war on drugs which is truly effective only as a war on the rest of us.

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  1. The $320,000 is the amount the school spent in litigating two lawsuits: One to release the report involving John Trimble (as noted in the story above) and one defending the discrimination lawsuit. The story above does not mention the amount spent to defend the discrimination suit, that's why the numbers don't match. Thanks for reading.

  2. $160k? Yesterday the figure was $320k. Which is it Indiana Lawyer. And even more interesting, which well connected law firm got the (I am guessing) $320k, six time was the fired chancellor received. LOL. (From yesterday's story, which I guess we were expected to forget overnight ... "According to records obtained by the Journal & Courier, Purdue spent $161,812, beginning in July 2012, in a state open records lawsuit and $168,312, beginning in April 2013, for defense in a federal lawsuit. Much of those fees were spent battling court orders to release an independent investigation by attorney John Trimble that found Purdue could have handled the forced retirement better")

  3. The numbers are harsh; 66 - 24 in the House, 40 - 10 in the Senate. And it is an idea pushed by the Democrats. Dead end? Ummm not necessarily. Just need to go big rather than go home. Nuclear option. Give it to the federal courts, the federal courts will ram this down our throats. Like that other invented right of the modern age, feticide. Rights too precious to be held up by 2000 years of civilization hang in the balance. Onward!

  4. I'm currently seeing someone who has a charge of child pornography possession, he didn't know he had it because it was attached to a music video file he downloaded when he was 19/20 yrs old and fought it for years until he couldn't handle it and plead guilty of possession. He's been convicted in Illinois and now lives in Indiana. Wouldn't it be better to give them a chance to prove to the community and their families that they pose no threat? He's so young and now because he was being a kid and downloaded music at a younger age, he has to pay for it the rest of his life? It's unfair, he can't live a normal life, and has to live in fear of what people can say and do to him because of something that happened 10 years ago? No one deserves that, and no one deserves to be labeled for one mistake, he got labeled even though there was no intent to obtain and use the said content. It makes me so sad to see someone I love go through this and it makes me holds me back a lot because I don't know how people around me will accept him...second chances should be given to those under the age of 21 at least so they can be given a chance to live a normal life as a productive member of society.

  5. It's just an ill considered remark. The Sup Ct is inherently political, as it is a core part of government, and Marbury V Madison guaranteed that it would become ever more so Supremely thus. So her remark is meaningless and she just should have not made it.... what she could have said is that Congress is a bunch of lazys and cowards who wont do their jobs so the hard work of making laws clear, oftentimes stops with the Sups sorting things out that could have been resolved by more competent legislation. That would have been a more worthwhile remark and maybe would have had some relevance to what voters do, since voters cant affect who gets appointed to the supremely un-democratic art III courts.

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