Oklahoma May Require Prescription For Common Cold Medicine

Thursday, March 3rd 2011, 1:08 pm
By: News 9

Jacqueline Sit, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A common cold medication that contains an ingredient used to make methamphetamine could soon require a prescription if the Oklahoma legislature passes a bill.

The House Public Safety Committee approved a measure Wednesday that expands legislation banning store sales of medications such as Sudafed and Claritin-D that contain pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth.

"This is just another way for government to regulate us," said Dani Lynch with Thrifty Pharmacy. "What if a mother needs to get medicine for her baby at night and can't get a prescription. My hands are tied if this passes."

Rep. Ben Sherrer said the bill will classify the cold medication as a Schedule III drug.

"There are 100 other cold and allergy medications people can buy without pseudoephedrine," Sherrer said.

Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Director Darrell Weaver said the bill could significantly help curb the production of meth in Oklahoma.

Weaver said the bill is based on a model being used in Oregon. Since the statute went into place there, the number of meth-related crimes has decreased.

"After five years, they still have literally zero meth labs and their crime rate is down to a 50 year low," Weaver said.

The bill now goes to the full House for a vote in the next two weeks. Sixteen other states are also considering similar legislation