A bill pending in the Colorado Senate would make drugs containing pseudoephedrine available only by prescription, The Denver Post reports. The bill aims to further restrict the ability of methamphetamine labs to make the illegal drug.
Police and other supporters of the bill say it would make it harder for methamphetamine cooks to make the drug using over-the-counter medicines. Pseudoephedrine, found in some cold and flu medicines, is a precursor ingredient in methamphetamine. There are already restrictions on buying a product with pseudoephedrine. Currently a person must show identification and have the medicine handed to them from behind the counter.
But the president of the Colorado Drug Investigators Association, Ernest Martinez, told the paper that these restrictions have not been enough to stop the abuse and sale of methamphetamine. Pharmacies do not have linked databases of who buys the medications, so there is no way to tell if people are going to multiple locations to buy them.
Critics of the bill say they are concerned that people without health insurance will have to pay to see a doctor to get a prescription for these cold medicines, while those with health insurance will have a co-pay to see a doctor for the prescription. The bill’s supporters note that there are more than 100 over-the-counter cold and flu drugs without pseudoephedrine.