Reports: ONDCP deputy director advocates Rx-only for PSE

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The debate on the prescription status of pseudoephedrine in the state of Kentucky heated up last week as the deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Benjamin Tucker on Wednesday told Kentucky lawmakers that they should mandate PSE to Rx-only status, according to reports.

Tucker last week was the keynote speaker at the Kentucky Drug Summit, part of the Kentucky League of Cities annual convention, and headlined a panel of federal, state and local experts to examine pill mills, meth labs and prescription drug abuse.

Kentucky considered legislation in 2011 that would require a doctor's prescription for medicines containing pseudoephedrine, KLC reported. "After debate over limiting access to popular medicines used to combat colds and allergies, a compromise was offered that would generally require prescriptions to buy the medications, but pharmacists also could dispense them to those obviously suffering from colds and allergies," KLC wrote in a 2011 legislative update published by the group. "Ultimately, the legislation and amendments offered died in session. It is very likely this bill will reappear in 2012."

On Friday, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association offered another solution to members of the Kentucky General Assembly — adopt the Meth Offender Registry Block List, a tool that would block convicted meth offenders from purchasing medicines containing pseudoephedrine without a doctor's prescription.

A 2010 draft report from the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission estimated that the system would block 5,500 known criminals from purchasing medicines containing PSE, CHPA noted.

"Implementing the Meth Offender Registry Block List, which will soon be in use in Tennessee, will strike right at the heart of the problem — the criminal meth cook," stated Carlos Gutierrez, director of state government relations for CHPA. "There is no need to unfairly punish law-abiding consumers when we have an option to block the criminals whom we know are committing the crimes."

"CHPA remains opposed to the proposed prescription mandate for legal, FDA-approved cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine," Gutierrez said.


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