CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Senate on Tuesday voted 25-to-9 to make pseudoephedrine a Schedule IV prescription drug and exempt medicines that can’t easily be diverted to methamphetamine, according to published reports. A similar bill is being considered by the West Virginia House of Delegates.
According to reports, the two exceptions to the prescription-only requirement would include Acura Pharmaceuticals' Nexafed and Westport Pharmaceuticals' Zephrex-D.
"It is very disheartening that certain members of the West Virginia legislature are determined to impose higher healthcare costs and onerous burdens on responsible taxpayers in the face of overwhelming evidence that such an approach would fail to address the root causes of the methamphetamine problem," said Carlos Gutierrez, senior director and head of state government affairs for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.
"Under a prescription requirement, thousands of West Virginians will have to take time off from work or school, drive to the doctor and pay additional copays at the pharmacy — just to get the nonprescription medicines they rely on to treat common cold and seasonal allergy symptoms. It would be one thing if the costs of these considerable burdens led to significant gains against meth cooks and dealers, but any honest examination of other states that have passed such a policy reveals that meth-related crime remains a vexing problems for law enforcement officials in those states," he said. "We would also urge members of the House of Delegates to consider the fact that West Virginia's greatest drug threat involves narcotics that already require a prescription."