Prescribed Pseudoephedrine In OK?


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Updated: 3/15/2011 5:37 pm Published: 3/02/2011 6:31 pm


Update--March 15th, 2011-Local law enforcement pushing to make pseudoephedrine a prescription say the proposed HB 1235 will not be voted on the House floor. It made it out of the Public Safety committee but it didn't make today's deadline to be placed on the calendar.


Update--
OBN reports meth labs in Oklahoma have increased 1200% in the last decade. It also reports that since Oregon passed its prescribed pseudoephedrine law in 2006 meth lab seizures have not been connected to prescribed pseudoephedrine.

Local law enforcement pushing to make pseudoephedrine a prescription say the proposed HB 1235 will not be voted on the House floor. It made it out of the Public Safety committee but it didn't make today's deadline to be placed on the calendar.

The spokesperson states corporate officials with pharmaceutical companies and people with allergies showed up at the capitol to oppose Oklahoma’s proposed prescribed pseudoephedrine law. He also states that there are 16 other states pushing to for a similar law.   

A cold that you can’t shake and you don’t want to go to the doctor so you go to your local pharmacy for over-the counter medicine with pseudoephedrine.

Oklahoma’s meth epidemic has forced lawmakers to pass laws that require you show state identification when purchasing pseudoephedrine at a pharmacy and you can only purchase so much at in one month.

Now, local police and Oklahoma district attorneys are pushing for prescribed pseudoephedrine to purchase the key ingredient commonly found in cold medicine and a key ingredient to make meth.

Today, House Bill 1235 which changes pseudoephedrine from a Scheduled V drug to a Schedule III drug passed the Public Safety committee.

FOX23’s Abbie Alford explains a proposal that would make pseudoephedrine available only through a doctor’s prescription.

A burning throat, stuff nose and painful allergies, all symptoms that over-the-counter pseudoephedrine can help relieve.

"This is really the only thing I have in stock," says Apothecary Shoppe pharmacist D.J. Lees.

The compounding pharmacy says meth makers are still trying to shop for the key ingredient to make the addictive drug.

"We typically get those calls, ‘hey do you have pseudoephedrine? I am on my way in.’ I tell them, ‘no we don't have it it's not something that we have in stock,’" says Lees.

He supports the proposed prescribed pseudoephedrine law.

“When we require a prescription for that we would be able to weed out the patients that use that to make methamphetamine we get the patients that have legitimate usage for pseudoephedrine," says Lees.

Not everyone agrees.

“Why do we have to get punished because they are going to find a way around it,” says Rochelle Caudill.

She works in the healthcare industry like Dr. David Murr but he’s still on the fence about the prescribed proposal.

"It's reasonable but it will be another hurdle for patients to deal with," says Murr. "I don't know if it will fix it, I definitely understand the intent. I think it's a reasonable idea to try.

He sees patients at St. Johns’ Urgent Care and is concerned about patients without healthcare.

Current laws say you can’t purchase more than nine grams of pseudoephedrine in a 30-day period and you must show state identification.

There’s also a registry banning offenders convicted of meth crimes to purchase the cold medicine.

Another Tulsan also has mixed feelings.

"I can see that it would inconvenience the public too much it puts everyone in a bad position," says Shawn Martin.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs reports meth lab seizures statewide dramatically increased in 2009 to 743 meth lab seizures from the average of 165 between 2005 and 2008

"You got to go back and find the root cause if you will and find out why they are making it to begin with and if you keep adding to it and adding to it and it's really not solving any problems," says Caudill

However, pharmacists like Lees says anything to strengthen the law would help.

"This is the for the betterment of the public health and public safety getting meth off the street. I don't want that for my children," says Lees.

Gel caps and liquids with pseudoephedrine would be exempt from this proposal.

FOX23 News has learned that Tulsa and Claremore police and the Tulsa County District Attorney went in front of the House Public Safety Committee to help get the proposed law passed.

HB 1235 now goes to the House floor for a vote.

In 2006, Oregon passed a similar law and officials says meth busts have plummeted since then. Last year Mississippi also passed a similar prescribed pseudoephedrine law.

A spokesperson for the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office released that in 2008, there were 101 charges filed connected to meth crimes including 53 Endeavoring meth, and 48 Manufacturing meth charges.

In 2009, the number of meth charges jumped to 536; Endeavoring, 415 and Manufacturing, 121.

The District Attorney filed 392 charges connected to meth in 2010; Endeavoring , 269 and Manufacturing, 123.

On Thursday, A Tulsa County jury handed a first time offender 20 years in prison for endeavoring to manufacture meth.   The Tulsa County Drug Task Force busted a meth lab in Daniel Glassco's bedroom on October 15, 2009.   He was cooking meth in his grandmother's home.   His elderly, bedridden father also lived there, being confined to a hospital bed and breathing with an oxygen machine.  When the Deputies entered they immediately removed everyone from the house for their safety.  They could not remove the defendant's extremely ill father, and they testified that if the meth lab had caught the house on fire, they would have had to re-enter the house and carry him outside.  They explained to the jury, using household items as demonstrative aids, exactly how Glassco converted Claratin-D into meth by mixing draino, camp fuel, and table salt and other items together.

Neighboring states such as Missouri, Kentucky and Arkansas are working on a similar proposal. Original Headline: "Prescription For Cold Medicine In OK?"



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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

amech001 - 2/15/2013 2:30 PM
0 Votes
the war on drugs was a way for the powers that be to stop you and get into your business and it should be disband and the laws need to be repealed....if you are not hurting anybody but yourself.. it your biz but if you kill somebody else with your drug use instant on the spot death when proven... but not until proven....that would stop allot of this...

Will Nonya - 2/29/2012 6:09 PM
0 Votes
I learned about the Oregon law while I was traveling in the state and suffering from a pretty severe sinus infection. When I asked the pharmacist for some Sudafed he informed me of the law and gave me some advice, which I took. What was that advice? Drive a half mile down the road and buy it from the shop on the Washington side of the border. Like most laws of this type it will only impact those who follow the laws. It may result in fewer meth lab seizures which I know is a politically important metric, however this metric has little to do with actual meth use since a majority of meth is imported from out of state by organizations with little regard for the law. My removing the local competition the effect won’t be lowered meth use but rather it will be higher profits for these smuggling operations and more money sent to other states and countries. Of all of the states to model ourselves after Oregon should be number 62 out of the 49 options. The average standard of living in Oregon aspires to that of the oldest and poorest parts of Tulsa. Their mismatched and half brained laws often leave me scratching my head and wondering if I’ve stepped into the Twilight Zone. Next thing you know we won’t be allowed to pump our own fuel here either.

thomas242007 - 2/25/2012 11:34 PM
0 Votes
Okay if you all are so upset about psuedo being limited, then i got a very good alternative i heard about online, you dont need a prescrition for it, and you can order it from several places online its a allergy medicine called benzedrex and its active ingrediant is somthing called Propylhexedrine look it up sounds like pretty stuff o theres a alternative for you people whining and crying about this stuff, check it out and give it a try, far as i know theres no limit to how much benzedrex you can buy at a time

infotechsailor - 8/15/2011 9:48 AM
0 Votes
Legalize weed and other drugs. we already have laws on the books for any crimes some pothead or crackhead commits. but if someone wants to sit at home and smoke something without hurting anyone but themselves then why should we care? and don't say it costs hospitals or childcare etc... Get REAL.. Fat People generate do much more damage with a bag of potato chips than anyone with a bag of sudafed or a bag of weed. Ron Paul 2012 - legalize it

DrJKH - 5/11/2011 12:59 AM
1 Vote
David Starkey doesn't know what he's talking about. I already gave him the facts, but he wants to deny them. FACT: Pseudoephedrine (PSE) is NOT required to make meth. FACT: The DOJ and the DEA say that David is WRONG - gel caps and liquid CAN be used to make meth. FACT: Oregon and MS claim their ban on PSE is working; well, they claimed the same thing about keeping it behind the counter. We all know that was a lie. If they're not looking, then they're not finding meth labs. Hmmm... David has some kind of agenda, since he so vehemently denies facts and pushes for this ordinance. I don't know what it is yet, but I'll find out. It may be that he owns part of the patent on the gel caps, perhaps. Whatever it is, David, I'll find out.

VoteNoMeth - 4/13/2011 7:51 PM
0 Votes
I agree with ZCD73 except for one thing. I have never been charged by any doctor to call something in. This is not something that the doctor must see you over. This kills the argument that it will cost you money for the doctor. The same cold medicine is available in gel caps and liquid with NO PRESCRIPTION required because the druggies cannot make meth out of the liquids. So if you just refuse to take the same stuff in gel cap or liquid the worst that you have to do is call the doctors office and have them call it in for free. After that you can have up to 5 refills so the big question. Would you take a gel cap or liquid to stop the meth in Oklahoma? www.GelCapsStopMeth.com

VoteNoMeth - 4/13/2011 7:50 PM
0 Votes
I agree with ZCD73 except for one thing. I have never been charged by any doctor to call something in. This is not something that the doctor must see you over. This kills the argument that it will cost you money for the doctor. The same cold medicine is available in gel caps and liquid with NO PRESCRIPTION required because the druggies cannot make meth out of the liquids. So if you just refuse to take the same stuff in gel cap or liquid the worst that you have to do is call the doctors office and have them call it in for free. After that you can have up to 5 refills so the big question. Would you take a gel cap or liquid to stop the meth in Oklahoma? www.GelCapsStopMeth.com

ZCD73 - 3/3/2011 8:10 PM
1 Vote
The average meth lab costs the taxpayers about $350,000.00 to deal with by the time we pay the police, haz-mat crews, prosecuters, DHS workers and the cost of incarceration. Making this a schedule III means that your dr. can call in up to 5 refills before you have to go back and see him. Do the math, you have to go see your dr. 1 time every six months in exchange for seeing our tax dollars spent to clean these toxic meth labs up. I will make the sacrifice, I hope you will. I support House Bill 1235 and I hope everyone else is smart enough to do so as well.

RealityStrikes - 3/3/2011 11:28 AM
1 Vote
"TurfTamer" ... "It makes sense to think the best way to stop meth use is by limiting the ingredients" ... just how well did that work with prohibition????

TurfTamer - 3/3/2011 11:26 AM
1 Vote
Listen, this is not all bad. Lord knows there is no way a criminal can get his hands on a prescription drug. It would also be a good thing if we can get more people going to the emergency room for a prescription. If we lower the supply of meth I'm sure meth users will go get jobs to make sure they can still afford the habit. It makes sense to think the best way to stop meth use is by limiting the ingredients. Once the meth users see this law they will stop. This will drive up health care costs, drive up the cost of Meth too... therefore drive up amount of crime (theft, etc...) need to purchase meth. There is no way a law can stop meth. This does not address the problem at all.
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