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Missouri Senate committee considers reverse-switch of PSE

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. A Missouri Senate committee on Monday entertained legislation that would mandate the reverse-switch of all products containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine — all products currently sold and tracked from behind the pharmacy counter per the Combat Meth Act.

The bill would exempt dietary supplements containing naturally-occurring ephedrine alkaloids that constituted less than 15% of the total weight of the supplements; however, supplements containing ephedrine have been banned from sale by the Food and Drug Administration since 2004. PSE and PPA are drugs, and therefore cannot be legally sold as supplements. PPA is also no longer available for sale OTC — the FDA requested that PPA products be pulled from the market in 2000.

That leaves only PSE products that are currently available in drug stores, and if the legislation passes this year, PSE products will become prescription-only drugs througout the state.

The move would limit access to PSE, critics charge, and would force consumers with nothing more than a common cold out of their local drug stores and into their local doctor’s offices.

Oregon switched PSE to prescription-only in 2006, and have since claimed that the move has nearly eliminated methamphetamine labs.

Part of the impetus behind the bill may be financial. The state has yet to release funds to support electronic logbook requirements on the sale of PSE, according to published reports, and switching PSE to prescription-only status would relieve the legislature from that financial burden.

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