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. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

  3. So, if you cry wolf one too many times courts may "restrict" your ability to pursue legal action? Also, why is document production equated with wealth? Anyone can "produce probably tens of thousands of pages of filings" if they have a public library card. I understand this is an extreme case, but our Supreme Court really got this one wrong.

  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

  5. JOE CLAYPOOL candidate for Superior Court in Harrison County - Indiana This candidate is misleading voters to think he is a Judge by putting Elect Judge Joe Claypool on his campaign literature. paragraphs 2 and 9 below clearly indicate this injustice to voting public to gain employment. What can we do? Indiana Code - Section 35-43-5-3: Deception (a) A person who: (1) being an officer, manager, or other person participating in the direction of a credit institution, knowingly or intentionally receives or permits the receipt of a deposit or other investment, knowing that the institution is insolvent; (2) knowingly or intentionally makes a false or misleading written statement with intent to obtain property, employment, or an educational opportunity; (3) misapplies entrusted property, property of a governmental entity, or property of a credit institution in a manner that the person knows is unlawful or that the person knows involves substantial risk of loss or detriment to either the owner of the property or to a person for whose benefit the property was entrusted; (4) knowingly or intentionally, in the regular course of business, either: (A) uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure or other device for falsely determining or recording the quality or quantity of any commodity; or (B) sells, offers, or displays for sale or delivers less than the represented quality or quantity of any commodity; (5) with intent to defraud another person furnishing electricity, gas, water, telecommunication, or any other utility service, avoids a lawful charge for that service by scheme or device or by tampering with facilities or equipment of the person furnishing the service; (6) with intent to defraud, misrepresents the identity of the person or another person or the identity or quality of property; (7) with intent to defraud an owner of a coin machine, deposits a slug in that machine; (8) with intent to enable the person or another person to deposit a slug in a coin machine, makes, possesses, or disposes of a slug; (9) disseminates to the public an advertisement that the person knows is false, misleading, or deceptive, with intent to promote the purchase or sale of property or the acceptance of employment;

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