Tags: Lawmakers | Seek | Restrictions | Sudafed

Lawmakers Seek Restrictions On Sudafed

Thursday, 15 December 2005 12:00 AM

A bipartisan group of lawmakers announced an agreement on Wednesday to restrict the sales of cold medicines that can be used to manufacture the illegal and highly addictive drug methamphetamine, according to the New York Times.

Under the proposal, Sudafed and similar medicines would have to be under lock and key in stores. Buyers would have to sign a sheet and show a driver's license. Purchases would be limited to one box a day and three boxes a month.

The legislation is attached to the renewal of the USA Patriot Act, which passed in the House on Wednesday but whose prospects in the Senate are uncertain.

Thirty-four states have enacted similar restrictions, and these sorts of controls have long been advocated by officials of the Drug Enforcement Administration, who argue that controlling the supply of the medications is the best way to reduce abuse, the Times reports.

But officials at the Food and Drug Administration have quietly fought such proposals, arguing that most methamphetamine is imported and that restricting cold medicines would lead to unneeded suffering among patients in need.

On Wednesday, the enforcers won a crucial battle. Representative Mark Souder, Republican of Indiana and sponsor of the methamphetamine legislation, said the F.D.A. was wrong. "Yes, consumers will have less choice," Mr. Souder said, "but it will have a minimal effect on sinus relief and pain relief."

Dan Troy, former general counsel of the food and drug agency, countered that cold sufferers would have a harder time getting relief as a result of the legislation. "I think it's very sad when you punish the good and the needy because of a few bad actors," Mr. Troy said.

A casual poll of a handful of internal medicine doctors who routinely treat cold sufferers found unanimous agreement that the legislation was needed, the Times reports.

"The restrictions on Sudafed, although somewhat onerous, aren't that bad," Dr. William Schreiber, an internist in Louisville, Ky., where such restrictions are already in place, said, adding, "anything that goes about limiting the production of meth probably has to be done."

Backers of the methamphetamine provision say that should the Patriot Act fail to pass this year, they will attach it to another piece of legislation.

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A bipartisan group of lawmakers announced an agreement on Wednesday to restrict the sales of cold medicines that can be used to manufacture the illegal and highly addictive drug methamphetamine, according to the New York Times. Under the proposal, Sudafed and similar...
Lawmakers,Seek,Restrictions,Sudafed
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2005-00-15
Thursday, 15 December 2005 12:00 AM
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