HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Sale Of Cold Meds Restricted
Pubdate: Wed, 07 Jul 2004
Source: Sun Herald (MS)
Copyright: 2004, The Sun Herald
Author: Denise Grones, Associated Press


JACKSON - Although Mississippi has no law restricting the sale of 
over-the-counter cold medicines, some pharmacies are controlling purchases.

Pseudoephedrine, found in cold and allergy medicines, is the key ingredient 
in the production of methamphetamine.

At Brandon Discount Drugs, customers must request common drugs like Actifed 
or Sudafed from the pharmacist.

"We started putting them in the back a long time ago," pharmacist Waymon 
Tigrett said.

"If they are using it for a legitimate use, we will sell it to them for 
legal reasons only," he said. "Most pharmacists I know either put their 
cold medicines in the back or make customers sign for them.

Pharmacy chains such as Fred's and Wal-Mart will only sell up to three 
boxes of drugs containing pseudoephedrine at one time.

Ten states have laws restricting the sales of cold and allergy medicines.

State Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, said the methamphetamine problem 
is a growing concern and if the state chose to enact a law to restrict the 
sales of over-the counter cold medicines, he would support it.

"We need to look at this very carefully," said Holland, chairman of the 
House Public Health Committee. "It's sad that the people who really need 
those medicines are being imperiled by the people who are abusing it, but 
we can't have those drugs used for illegal purposes."

Mississippi passed a law in 2001 that increased criminal penalties for 
those people who are caught with products used to make methamphetamine.

"If someone is caught with two or more listed precursors and we have proof 
they intended to manufacture, it's a felony charge with up to 30 years in 
prison," Owens said.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth