A poll in Michigan finds that voters oppose legislation that would require a prescription for over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA).


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Michigan poll: Don't make pseudoephedrine medicines Rx-only

September 25th, 2013

WASHINGTON – A poll in Michigan finds that voters oppose legislation that would require a prescription for over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA).

The CHPA sponsored survey of 500 Michigan voters, conducted earlier this month by The Tarrance Group, showed that 67% of respondents are against the proposed law, and 59% said it would be inconvenient to get a prescription for those medications.

Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in decongestant cold and allergy medicines but is also used in the illicit production of methamphetamine, or "meth," which has ballooned into a major drug abuse problem in the United States.

States are considering or enacting measures to track pseudoephedrine product sales and thwart "smurfers" — those who buy pseudoephedrine and sell the product to another to manufacture methamphetamine — as well as legislation to make pseudoephedrine medicines prescription-only.

Still, among the people surveyed who are "very aware" of Michigan's meth problem, 64% remain opposed to a prescription mandate for medicines with pseudoephedrine, and only 28% said they would be in favor of such a law.

What's more, most Michigan voters indicated that a prescription requirement wouldn't impede the ability of meth criminals to get a hold of precursor chemicals. The poll found that 82% of voters believe that meth makers would still find ways to get what they need even if a prescription mandate were passed.

"The findings of last week's Michigan poll are consistent with what we've seen across the country," Scott Melville, president and chief executive officer of CHPA, said in a statement. "Law-abiding consumers oppose the prescription-only approach because it leads to unnecessary economic burdens produced by time off work and additional co-pays. Penalizing honest consumers for the crimes of a criminal minority will not solve the state's problems. If state officials want to effectively address the illegal sale of these medicines, they need to implement balanced policies that penalize criminals, not law-abiding citizens."

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