Critics of legislation that would require a prescription for pseudoephedrine-containing products – the key ingredient in methamphetamine production – don’t have their facts correct, according to the head of a regional anti-drug organization.
“By regulating a small number of medications the state will be able to dramatically reduce meth production while saving both lives and dollars,” said Karen Kelly, director of Operation UNITE. “Experience in Oregon (which has required a prescription for more than four years) indicates that Senate Bill 45 and House Bill 15 would neither adversely affect consumers nor hamper law enforcement investigations.”
An informational rally to show support for these two bills will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 3, in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. Those planning to attend are encouraged to arrive early.
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“We have heard from citizens and law enforcement representatives across the commonwealth that this law is definitely needed,” Kelly said. “The bottom line is people are dying and children are being placed in extreme danger because of the growth of meth labs. Kentucky has an opportunity to dramatically reduce the problem by requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine.”
The rally will include bipartisan support from state representatives and senators, various law enforcement entities, as well as organizations including the Kentucky Education Association, Kentucky Medical Association, Kentucky Commonwealth Attorney’s Association, Kentucky Jailer’s Association, and the Kentucky Association of Counties.
Opponents of the bills have claimed the provision would hamper law enforcement’s ability to track down meth labs because pseudoephedrine purchases would no longer be tracked by MethCheck, an electronic reporting system.
“The only way to stop the meth labs is to have better control over who’s buying it,” Kelly said. “The effectiveness of prescription-only legislation has been demonstrated in Oregon, which has seen its meth lab incidents decrease to near zero while Kentucky’s lab incidents has soared to 1,100.”
“We don’t want to continue finding more meth labs, we want to drastically reduce the manufacturing of meth,” emphasized U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, who will testify in favor of SB-45 before the state Senate Judiciary Committee prior to attending the afternoon rally. “The methods of the past are clearly not working.”
Another criticism has been that cold and allergy sufferers would not be able to get needed medications.
“Every medication that is currently on the shelf will stay on the shelf,” Kelly said. “In addition, there are approximately 100 other over-the-counter products available to treat these symptoms. There are many good alternatives.”