Prescription could be required to buy cold medicine

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Over-the-counter medications for common colds and allergies could become more regulated under a Indiana House bill introduced last week.

House Bill 1106, authored by Rep. Rebecca Kubacki, R-Syracuse, would make medication containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine a schedule III drug, which means it couldn’t be purchased without a doctor’s visit and prescription.

An existing law puts a limit on how much ephedrine and pseudoephedrine can be purchased in a day, month or year. But, Kubacki said she doesn’t think the law goes far enough.

“Current law only encourages the problem more,” Kubacki said. “We’re adding to the problem, not solving it.”

But Richard Feldman, chairman of legislation for the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians, said the medical community prefers the existing legislation to Kubacki’s new bill.

“We think it’s adequate; we don’t want any more restrictions,” Feldman said. “We’re very pleased and comfortable with the current law and the current system – the electronic system – as well as the restrictions placed.”

Feldman also said the bill, if passed, would be a heavy inconvenience for both doctors and patients.

“The last thing that the doctors I talked to want is to be overrun with patient visits for an over-the-counter drug that should remain over-the-counter, rather than seeing patients who deserve their attention,” he said.

Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond, said she’s not sure how the bill would be received in her community.

“I’m not willing to tell my constituents that they have to go to the doctor to get cold medicine,” Lawson said. “I just think it’s the wrong thing to do.”

However, Kubacki said the expense of visiting a doctor is small compared to the big-picture cost of meth addiction.

“What needs to be clarified here is it will cost you $80 to visit the doctor to get a prescription for pseudoephedrine. What you don’t know is how much money we spend for one meth addict,” Kubacki said.

Feldman said he thinks meth will always be a problem so imposing additional restrictions wouldn't help.


  • Legislation is an ineffective bandb aid
    For State Legislators to even think that requiring law abiding citizens to see a doctor to obtain cold medicine is ludicrous. This would be nothing more than placing a band aid over an amputated leg to control the bleeding. The production of meth will continue regardless of where their precursors are obtained because quite frankly the criminal element coupled with the addict will go to any length to get what they need and that includes crossing borders. Why would our law makers attempt to punish the general public with exorbitant and unnecessary medical bills to purchase what is now over the counter. If you want to put a dent in meth production the law for penalty against those who are performing the chemistry of the cook should be increased to the extent where these villains should understand that no amount of money they could potentially make would be worth the risk of getting caught. STOP ATTEMPTING TO PUNISH THE INNOCENT! Toughen the law!
  • 5,779
    5,779 square feet. If you're going to write her biography, at least consult the public record.
  • Talk about poor information
    Unfortunately, the call to abandon this legislation because it will cause 99.97% of the citizenry to have to see a doctor every time they need cold medicine is all a red herring. Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are not the sole ingredient used in all cold medicines for nasal decongestion. There are several other ingredients used by cold medicine manufacturers. Unfortunately, few ever divulge that information when reporting about legislation such as this. Oregon was the first state to require a prescription and two things happened. First, you could still buy cold medicine over the counter, just not cold medicine with ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. Second, meth labs essentially disappeared. Mississippi followed suit and has seen the same two things. Cold medicine still available over the counter and a dramatic reduciton in meth labs. I am all behind this bill and still plan on treating my colds without a doctor.
  • More social engineering -- again
    According to STATS.indiana.edu, in 2012 in Indiana has a population 6,537,334, approximately 75% over the age of 18. According to the in.gov web site, in 2012 the Indiana State Police reported 1,726 Clandestine Lab incidents. So, because 0.03% of the adult population behaves stupidly to make meth, the remaining 99.97% of the Indiana adult population -- 4,931,616 people -- many who have to deal with allergies, sinus conditions, or colds, have the opportunity to be miserable or be financially penalized for living in a state notorious for conditions that require cold medications. Of course the suffering can go though the loss of pay taking time from work and the expense of going to a doctor and paying for a prescription for an over-the-counter cold remedy. Others cannot afford to go to a doctor. One can only hope the miserable 99.97% can remember that legislative elections are this year, and its time to change the nanny-state their elected officials are creating.
  • Logic please
    Let's see...narcotics require presciptions, yet abuse is still a problem. Now we need to inconvience 99.99% of the population that wants to purchase everyday items. All this from one of the states where it is legal to purchase virtually any type of fireworks! Someone please explain the logic.
  • The Push
    The push for this legislation is coming from the DEA who wants this drug to be made radically unavailable. The do have some impressive statistics that show in states that make PSE a legend drug, the meth lab busts go to nearly zero. As mentioned above that is largely historical data and may not reflect current meth manufacturing methods or the current stringency on legal OTC purchases (have any of you TRIED to buy sudafed at a drug store- good luck). The days of walking out of a WalMart with all the sudafed on the shelf, 100s of boxes, is over. Existing manufacturing, except some small time users, is controlled by the Aryan Brotherhood and other gangster networks. These people dont buy their sudafed in drug stores to make millions of tons of meth. The last thing the public health needs is more sick patients having to go to the doctors office and infecting others in the middle of the cold and flu season. I fully support the DEA efforts to get the drug gangs out of our communities- this wont help.
  • Obamacare?
    So since I'll be forced to the doctor to get cold medicine, will Obamacare cover this? this woman shows how out of touch most in Indiana are with reality. so stupid.
  • Possibly the stupidest idea in Human History
    And that's saying a lot! Meth is imported and the make procedure is radically different than it once was. This woman ran for office on a crusade that is no longer relevant, and instead of finding a new way to serve, seeks to foist this odious nonsense off on the rest of us. What an idiotic idea: Subject citizens to spending money on a doctor visit to diagnose the common cold. The cost would be preposterous and the benefits almost non-existent. Yep, she's a Republican, all right! Congratulations Hoosier Republicans--you're really elected the ultimate campaign advertisement for Democrats (or any other party, for that matter) to use as a cudgel against you. Congratulations!
  • congratulations Hoosiers
    You wanted republicans in control.....you got em! Would it kill you to vote democratic once in while, just to clean house? When are you gonna stop buying into the "democrats are gonna take my rights away and give my tax dollars to the lazy" hype that Indiana republicans have been so successful at convincing you.
  • Republicrats
    She proves once again there is little difference between both political parties. Both are filled with busybody control freaks.
  • Kubacki
    For those of you who aren't in her district, here is a little history. She never held a job before this gig. She was able to get this job because her husband is CEO of Lake City Bank. They live in a 8000+ square foot house on Syracuse Lake in Syracuse, IN. There was plenty of money for her campaign and she didn't have much competition. With that being said, she is truly an ignorant person and a complete waste of taxpayer money and time. She has been hell-bent on this mission to force good, law abiding citizens to pay for a dr. visit to get an RX for their cold and allergy medicine. This is all she has cared about since getting into office. She is too ignorant to realize or refuses to accept that meth is coming in from Mexico. There are Mexicans in her territory that make meth, but again, she it too ignorant to realize that creating another law to financially law abiding citizens will not stop the meth labs from finding Smurfs to get the ingredients they need to make the meth. Stupidity is too nice of a word for her. If you ever have the chance (or misfortune)to listen to her talk you will realize what a shame she is to our state legislature. Please contact your legislators and tell them to vote NO.
    • Hmmmm
      Should we refrain from polish jokes now?
    • Cray
      Lol, never have seen the phrase "cray cray" on the IBJ before. It certainly does apply to this woman though!
    • Madness
      This is sheer madness. My doc charges $90 for an office visit, which I pay out of pocket. I'll be happy to send my bill to Ms. Kubacki.
    • Reality
      Can we please get this Kubacki out of office before she writes a bill where people need a prescription from a doctor before having sex.
    • Yes!
      I agree. People need to get involved and stop this madness that is happening in all government. It is getting out of control and we need to speak up.
    • Cold medicine
      This is unbelievable. What else can government think of to punish the majority of people that don't do anything wrong because of the few that do.
    • Are you kidding me?
      Is this some kind of joke? We have got to have the worst legislature in the country. Wow.
      • Gestapo
        The Gestapo is alive and well in Indiana. what will it take to get these bums out of office?????
      • The Mexican Cartels want that law.
        Meth is made in small chemical plants in Mexico by chemical engineers. The Mexican Cartels bribe the local authorities to ignore their meth plants. The local US gangs bribe the local authorities to ignore their sale of the Meth from Mexico. All of them want to do anything to us that will make it difficult for anyone here to make Meth and compete with the Mexicans.
      • Contact your representative
        Simply contact both your representative and state senator and demand that they vote against this bill. No need to be polite, or ask nicely, simply demand it. Enough of this garbage and stupidity.
        • Really
          So, because others can't take care of their addictions we have to wait to get into a doctor, pay for the co-pay $30 for us - get the prescription, go have it filled, pay the co-pay $15 and miss half a day's work. I would like this lady's address so I can send her my bills for a $8 box of cold medicine.
        • Open your eyes
          So this is Kubacki's brainstorm to help solve the meth problem? Her justification being the cost of helping a meth addict recover compared to a $80.00 doctor visit. What planet is she on? $80.00 is a lot of money for people on a limited budget. How many times does the average family of four get sick in a years time? So she want's to have hardworking people be forced to pay for a meth addicts recovery. I'll tell you lady, I care more about the well being of my family than any meth addict.
        • Bad Idea
          What a pain. So, because there are a few meth-heads out there, in order to get simple cold relief, the rest of the state will have to pay for a Dr's office visit; not only costing the patient their $20-$30 copay, but also charging their insurance another $100-$150. Ridiculous!

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