Finger-Pointing Abounds In Wake Of Meth Bill Failure
OKLAHOMA CITY - Lawmakers have now shelved a bill that would have changed the way we get over-the-counter cold medicine.
Oklahoma district attorneys say it would have made a big difference in the state's growing meth problem.
Those DAs blame the powerful and rich drug companies for spending countless dollars on radio and TV ads to mislead the public and kill a bill they say could have saved lives.
The law proposed in both the Oklahoma House and Senate would limit the cold medicine you could buy over the counter. Tablets containing pseudoephedrine would require a prescription from a doctor.
"I think it's a waste of everybody's time," said Sara Howard. "It's a waste of your time. You have to take off work, so your employer is losing a productive employee. You have to waste your doctor's time to get a prescription."
"All we were asking them to take a gel cap instead of a caplet," countered Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn. Mashburn fought hard for the bill and says drug manufacturers have paid thousands of dollars to make the public and lawmakers believe the bill would cost law abiding citizens not only time but money. That's something he says isn't true.
"Shame on them for knowing that they're profiting off this drug for knowing that their product's being turned into methamphetamine and they will spend money to make sure they continue to make money off this death and devastation," said Mashburn. "It's just unbelievable to me."
A spokesperson for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association says they believe requiring a prescription for the medicine would only place new costs on law abiding citizens.
Several groups representing Oklahoma doctors and pharmacists also opposed the bill saying the law would just clog up the system.
State Rep. Sean Roberts has now proposed a new bill that would allow local communities to pass the prescription ordinance.