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Statement from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Mississippi Bill that Seeks to Make Cold, Allergy Medicines Containing Pseudoephedrine Prescription-Only

Friday, January 29, 2010 Drug News J E 4
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Majority of Mississippi voters support e-tracking as better solution

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Linda A. Suydam, D.P.A., president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA):

"Today, the Mississippi House of Representatives passed a bill without listening to any testimony that, if it becomes law, will greatly limit how cold and allergy sufferers access some of their medicines. The legislation would require law-abiding families to obtain a doctor's prescription for pseudoephedrine- (PSE-) containing medicines rather than simply asking for these medications at the pharmacy or service counter. Mississippi lawmakers seem prepared to impose this burden on Mississippians, even though there is a better solution.

"Mississippi's voters agree this is not the right way to address meth. As states continually find themselves in dire financial situations, policy makers must balance efforts to regulate ingredients used to create meth with the public health and economic consequences of restricting access to important cold and allergy medications. Electronic tracking is one such solution that eight other states have adopted to fight domestic meth production while maintaining consumer over-the-counter access to these products.

"An e-tracking system is a tool that law enforcement and pharmacists can put in place to stop the sale of illegal amounts of PSE as set forth by the Combat Meth Act. With this real-time tracking system, states can also link up with other states to track cross-border sales. For instance, neighboring Louisiana has plans to implement e-tracking starting in March. Additionally, e-tracking would be implemented at no cost to the state; the makers of PSE-containing products would purchase and maintain the system for Mississippi.

"A CHPA-sponsored survey conducted by David Binder Research this month* found that almost two-thirds of Mississippi voters surveyed (N=350) feel making common cold and allergy medications containing pseudoephedrine available by prescription only would be a big mistake, placing a heavy and unnecessary new burden on law-abiding people, significantly increasing consumer costs, and hurting the state's own finances at the worst possible time.

"Among other findings:

"This House bill was passed before hearing any testimony or listening to the concerns of constituents. We urge the state legislature to assess the deep burdens of this bill and the proven alternative of e-tracking before placing such serious and costly restriction on law-abiding Mississippians. "

CHPA is the 129-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the- counter medicines and nutritional supplements.

www.chpa-info.org

-- 61 percent of those surveyed would oppose laws that would require these medications be sold only by prescription. -- 74 percent of those surveyed agree that an Rx-only requirement would create an 'unnecessary burden' for law-abiding citizens. -- And 59 percent of those surveyed indicate they feel the legislative train is speeding forward too fast, agreeing 'before my state's lawmakers enact a new law, they should study the economic impact and societal burden a prescription law would pose.'

SOURCE Consumer Healthcare Products Association
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