By Alec Gray
INDIANAPOLIS – A new Indiana law has further limited the amount of cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine that customers can purchase in a year.
The new provisions build on existing law that’s meant to try to curb the purchase of meth, which an be made using pseudoephedrine. Already, state law limited the amount of cold medicines customers can purchase in a week or month.
Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, authored the new provisions that added annual limit of 61.2 grams, which is equal to about eight months of cold and allergy pills. He said someone who needs more than an 8-months supply should probably consult a physician.
“This still protects the consumer who needs it and stops the people who want to make drugs. It’s a win, win for everybody,” Yoder said.
Then after Jan. 1, state law will limit the sale of pseudoephedrine medicines to pharmacies and other retailers that use the National Precursor Log Exchange, an electronic system that tracks the sales of ingredients that can be used to make meth.
Police officers check the logs when they investigate meth production.
The law is a compromise. Some lawmakers and a coalition of mayors had urged the General Assembly to pass a more restrictive bill that would have required customers to get a prescription to obtain a medicine containing pseudoephedrine.
But Yoder said that would have gone too far. He said the state will benefit from the new law because it restricts the amount that can be purchased in a year without forcing people to get a prescription every time.
The new law also prohibits a person convicted of an offense involving meth from purchasing over-the-counter medicines containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine for seven years after the conviction – unless they are prescribed by a doctor.
The law was backed the Indiana Pharmacists Alliance.
“We thought it made sense and helps the state,” said the group’s executive vice president, Lawrence Sage. “Our lobbyists and some of our members were very closely involved in the process.”
Yoder said he believes that the law will help slow down the creation of meth.
“I think it’s another step forward in the fight against meth,” he said. “It is a terrible scourge in our society, but things like this are helping us move forward.”
Alec Gray is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.