Pubdate: Fri, 04 Nov 2005
Source: Esquimalt News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Esquimalt News


Large sales of cold medications that could be used to make
methamphetamine will be more tightly monitored by the province in the
first plank of a new B.C. program.

Solicitor General John Les said the province will work with police,
pharmacists and retailers to track large sales and thefts of cold
medications from retailers.

Les admitted most meth labs use bulk commercial imports to get the
chemical precursors they need - they don't usually buy them at
pharmacies or grocery stores.

"While it's rare for them to use over-the-counter drugs, we want to be
as thorough as possible," he said.

If there's evidence of misuse of retail cold medicines, Les said, the
province will restrict their sale to licensed pharmacies.

And if problems persist, B.C. will make the medication available by
prescription only. Some provinces are moving faster. Both Manitoba and
Saskatchewan have moved to control cold medications by limiting
purchases and putting some medicines behind the counter.

"While some provinces are pulling cold medicine from the shelves, the
situation in B.C. does not yet require the same approach," Les said.

The move follows Premier Gordon Campbell's September announcement that
B.C. will put $7 million toward community-based anti-meth programs,
treatment resources and education. 
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