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Even more really bad ideas – prescription pseudoephedrine

Missouri

Local officials are optimistic and “excited” that support is building for a statewide law requiring prescriptions to purchase medicine containing pseudoephedrine.

During a roundtable discussion Tuesday with national drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, the issue was discussed and “to a person,” participants agreed that pseudoephedrine needs to be controlled through prescriptions, said Washington Mayor Dick Stratman who attended the session in St. Louis.

NYQIt’s bad enough now that you have to go put your name on a register in the drug store during open hours in order to get any decent cold medicine (no more getting Nyquil D in the middle of the night so you can rest — you have to plan ahead to get sick). Now they want you to have to go to the doctor and get a prescription to buy it. Stupid.

Let’s assume they actually want to pursue this nonsense — have they thought at all about what is next?

Apparently not, because Mayor Stratman thinks “If we can prevent labs, we can keep people from getting into meth.”

Um, no.

Think about it for a minute. What happens when you clamp down on pseudoephedrine here in the U.S.?

That’s right! It comes from Mexico instead. Remember Mexico — the country with all the black market drug war profits fueling cartel violence? And you want to give them some more business.

Pseudoephedrine legislation in the U.S. has been referred to as “The Mexican Drug Lab Full Employment Act” and you want to add to it.

So… made pseudoephedrine prescription only and make the common cold more of a problem than it already is, while increasing the black market profits for cartels in Mexico, and doing next to nothing to decrease meth availability.

Yeah, that’s what you get when you put a bunch of clueless people in a room together.

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23 comments to Even more really bad ideas – prescription pseudoephedrine

  • paul

    Mayor Stratman thinks we can stop people from getting meth? That’s a hoot! The only thing they will stop is people getting relief from the sniffles.

    I certainly wouldn’t be motivated to get a prescription for cold medicine to reduce the sniffles. Get up (while you are sick), drive to the doctor, make a co-payment of 10 dollars (if you even have insurance) so you can buy a 10 dollar medicine, which effectively doubles the price. Ugh.

    And all this inconvenience for a law that isn’t going to remotely affect the availability of meth. Meth will absolutely, 100% positively be available for nearly the same price it was before the law.

    Why is it so hard to pull the plug on the people who come up with these laws? Fire the nannies, and you won’t need a prescription to buy a perfectly safe, mild medicine.

  • Excellent way to raise unnecessary dr. visits. Keep taking away the last remaining effective OTC allergy/cold meds.

    Before this year, every cold I had was followed by a week or two of nights spent coughing. The last doc said even pseudoephedrine is useless for a ton of people and that it was probably a mistake to take codeine off the shelves.

    Imagine the total lost productivity, increased HC costs, and lengthened cold/allergy suffering.

  • ezrydn

    Maybe they think the new Health Care program will cover up all their SNAFUS. It won’t! Idiots, one and all. They get a thought in their heads and it goes no further. What is it that gives them the idea that a law in the US will affect someone living in Mexico or even further south? “We’ll make a law and the world will be safer.” An American idea from a bygone era thats been proven worthless. So Icabod figures he can reinvent the wheel and fire.

  • Nick Zentor

    This is just another counter-measure to force people to take the Swine Flu shots, if they become mandatory. People who have ordinary colds and flu are being told to get the Swine Flu vaccinations (which have very bad side-effects). Under a law like this, more people will be forced to see a doctor, and the doctor will insist that they get vaccinated for Swine flu, ergo, fewer people will be able to avoid getting the vaccine.

  • Mike R

    My allergies are horrible. I need this stuff to feel even semi normal during allergy seasons. Now I have to pay a doctor to write me a scrip so that I can by 5x more than I used to? That’s great.

    I avoid our healthcare system like I would the plague – an analogy that just may turn out to be more accurate than anyone ever would have believed if you follow all the swine flu propaganda.

    Not to mention the surge of drug-related violence that will certianly follow the shortfall in supply of meth, the continued elevation in crime due to the rising costs of meth and the increased cartel violence as they fill in the void.

    Cheers!

  • I really love my Bronk-Aid. I have to get that from behind a counter already; I wonder if this would be covered by this law. Not that I live in Missouri, but you know this is going to be nationwide soon. I do not want to have to go to the doctor to get authorization to buy something I’ve been able to get OTC my whole life.

    Then again, if the government reforms health insurance… (this is a joke, I think).

  • pseudoephedrine started life in the good ol u.s. of a. as a prescription only medicine. it was called “actifed” and the treatment of choice for military members with the sniffles back in late 70s (yes, personal experience).

    later it was added to another prescription drug called loratadine and marketed (still by prescription only) under the tradename “Claritin-D”

    that product was eventually made an over-the-counter (no prescriprion required) product that you could buy as much of as you felt like buying.

    then, along came barak obama (fuck you dopers) and joe biden (i want all of you dead) who authored and passed the “combat meth act” which levied the requirement to track and limit purchases of the OTC medicines containing the eveil substance pseudoephedrine.

    remember, the combat meth act was created because approximately 0.6 percent of the U.S. populaton are meth users. the other 99.4 percent of us just need allergy relief.

    it would be hilarious if the stakes weren’t so high. oops, and let’s not forget that opiates also require a prescription, and thus are *never* obtained without one by anyone anywhere.

  • Didn’t know it began as a prescription drug, Brian; pretty interesting. I used to take Claritin-D when I was a kid; it’s a pretty good allergy drug, but Zyrtec blows it out of the water. That stuff is the greatest drug ever made.

    Back in the late 90s, the hand-wringing over PSE came from Sports Illustrated, for its use as a performance enhancer in hockey: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1011875/index.htm

  • Mike

    What really struck me in that article is that after the ACLU threatened a suit to get the law repealed the head of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit asked “Does that mean the ACLU supports meth?”

    Absolutely not!

  • kaptinemo

    Just whose economy are we trying to stimulate? Ours? Or Mexico’s? A big biz in precursor chemicals has sprung up in Mexico, thanks to myopic US attempts to ‘control’ meth, and this will only make things worse.

  • Chris

    I took pseudoephedrine for the last two days and it didn’t last long enough for me to notice any effect. Bah.

  • How is requiring prescriptions for pseudoephedrine (which makes a record of who gets the medicine) supposedly going to be any more effective than requiring people to show their ID and sign a log, have it recorded, and be limited in how much they can get? Same result – record made of who gets the medicine, how much, when, etc.

    Talk about meaningless.

    To be fair, you can still get a bottle of Nyquil D at midnight, it just takes a few minutes longer. Unless, I suppose, you live in a small town that doesn’t have 24-hour pharmacies on every street corner. Then I guess I can see your point. But I’ve never been to a small town that doesn’t have at least one 24-hour Walgreens or CVS. Maybe I just don’t go to enough small towns.

    My problem with the pseudoephedrine registry is that it’s an invasion of privacy, one more right taken away or reduced, and of course – it is ineffective. We still have meth. And we’ll still have meth if people are forced to go out of their way to see a doctor to get the only cold medicine (that is close to being maybe 2% effective). What about the people without health insurance? Have to pay for a doctor visit? Even with health insurance, assuming it pays for the doc visit, why should there have to be a co-pay to get freakin’ sudafed? Unlike the current registry which is a minor inconvenience, this would be quite a significant inconvenience.

    And then you get the state controlling what doctors can prescribe. Surely they’re not going to let a doctor prescribe more pseudoephedrine than people can buy off the shelf w/out a prescription right now. Things are bad enough with the state interfering with doctors prescribing adequate quantities pain medicine… so now they’re going to also have the state interfere with how much COLD MEDICINE doctors can give their patients? What’s the state going to say when my doctor prescribes me 500 10mg sudafed pills?

  • paul

    BruceM:

    “What’s the state going to say when my doctor prescribes me 500 10mg sudafed pills?”

    They’re going to say you’re a meth head and then prosecute your doctor. After a couple of years of this, most doctors will refuse to prescribe this medicine at all, and others will just give you 10 or 20 pills to get through your cold.

    I’ll bet the pharma companies that sell this stuff are not thrilled, either. You would think they would fight harder. I read a story awhile ago about the French company that sells the alternative medication they now stock on the store shelves. It doesn’t really work, but about 5 years ago, the French company took a sudden interest in American politics and began giving big money to some key congressmen.

    Presto! Something must be done about the Pseudoephedrine menace! Sudafed goes behind the counter, and useless French medicine goes in front. Sudafed didn’t didn’t even get the license plate of the truck that hit them.

    Morale of the story? Donating big bucks to congress WORKS. This is why we should have a small and weak federal government. Money flows to congress because there is power there, and power flows to congress because there is money. Leviathan grows.

  • paul: yeah I know, I meant that as a rhetorical question. If the doctor isn’t prosecuted as a drug kingpin, he will at the very least be harassed by the state medical board. The pharmacist, always a loyal drug warrior (a prerequisite to the job) will call the cops, medical board, DEA, etc.

    And after pseudoephedrine is made a rx-only drug, and meth continues to exist, they will make it a schedule II controlled substance. Actually if I remember correctly, pseudoephedrine IS a controlled substance there’s just an exemption for cold pills or something to that extent. Maybe it was just a Listed Chemical rather than controlled substance. Either way the only reason it’s legal to sell as cold medicine is due to some legislative exemption. Maybe they’ll get rid of that.

    Morale of the story? Donating big bucks to congress WORKS.

    Anyone with doubts about that just needs to look at the current healthcare reform debate. It truly amazes me that giving an elected official campaign money works so incredibly well at making them loyal to the people who give them the money. Why can’t they just say “I appreciate that you gave me money, and I thank you again for it, but while I’ve taken your concerns into consideration, I simply cannot vote the way you would have me vote.” I guess it’s all about ensuring more money for re-election. This is why we need term limits. One term, that’s it – then you’re out forever. That’s really the only way to get the corruption of money out of politics. As long as a politician’s political future (and power) are dependent on getting lots of money from certain people, companies, groups, etc, the system is nothing more than legalized bribery.

  • As some of you know I’m from Denmark. We don’t have OTC access to any drug containing pseudoephedrine. When we have a cold we’re forced to simply use xylometazolin-HCL. Now, that stuff’s addictive …

    While we criminalize less that the US we’re still an over-regulated society, so we have quite a few things more on prescription than you guys.

    Meth, and it won’t come as a surprise, is of course available.

  • here are a few more fun factoids:

    prior to the nonsense involving pseudoephedrine, the targeted “precursor” chemical was phenylpropanolamine (ppa).

    back in the late 90’s or early 00’s time frame that particular product (incidentally contained in my go to choice of cold remedy) was declared an unacceptable risk for human use due to the “fact” that (over the course of several decades)about 57 women may have died from brain aneurysms as a result of its use. i’m not a women, so i don’t really think i was at risk — but then again, neither were 99.999999999999999 percent of the earth’s population.

    the silly part was that ppa had been in use since about 1937 and was being routinely administered in billions of dosage units per year.

    back to PSE — on more than one occasion when i’ve discussed the farcical pill purchase logs with pharmacists (usually i’m complaining about having to keep coming back to the store far more frequently than i would like just to buy the damn things — and the killer is that i don’t even use the shit, i buy it for my wife), they tell me i could easily buy more just by getting a prescription for the “otc” product !?!?!?

    lastly, and this is really fun — you can *currently* get a prescription from your doctor for (drumroll please)

    METHAMPHETAMINE!!!

  • Sure, meth is a C-II controlled substance. Desoxyn is the brand name, they use it when adderall doesn’t cut it. Which is quite rare.

    Cocaine is a C-II controlled substance also, and it’s used in some surgeries (typically eye surgery from my understanding). A doctor could write a prescription for cocaine (snort a line 1 to 1000 times daily PRN, hehe). It’s only used in hospitals though, so any outpatient Rx for cocaine would be an instant red flag and no pharmacy would ever carry it for outpatient use. But you can get meth from a pharmacy, though it’s rarely prescribed since Adderall works in like 99% of cases where amphetamines are appropriate.

    The C-II drug I’m most fascinated with is carfentanil, which is used to tranquilize large animals. 1-2 micrograms is enough to affect a person with no opioid tolerance. It’s 10,000 times more potent than morphine, and 100 times more potent than plain ol’ fentanyl. That’s a C-II drug, but marijuana is a C-I. I’d love to get someone to explain that to me….

  • Cliff

    I propose a new reality game show entitled ‘Stupid Politician Tricks’, where the stupidist rules proposed by a politician wins. The winner gets to be tarred and feathered by his constituents and those who would be harmed by his / her stupidity.

    There could be a big payout to the municipality from which he / she hails to help offset the embarrassment of electing him / her.

  • Cliff: how about just tarring and feathering every politician who utters the words “the children”? In addition to entertainment, it would eventually allow meaningful debate. Unfortunately, I don’t think we have enough tar, and surely not enough birds.

  • brucem — careful what you wish for! if we did find someone to explain why marijuana is a “dangerous” schedule I substance, it would just make your brain box explode

  • paul

    BruceM:

    You may have finally hit upon a use for all the chicken feathers the industry is always trying to get rid of. It is a big problem, and big problems require big solutions!

  • anonymous

    I am angry about this. My response is that I will seek out some meth instead of nyquil D. much easier to get…

  • common cold is easy to combat, just take lots of vitamin-C and antioxidants”‘`