Lupin 2023

Restrictions on O-T-Cs opposed

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WASHINGTON — Pseudo­ephedrine products should stay over the counter, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) have told Congress.

Emphasizing pharmacy’s proactive measures to help fight methamphetamine production and abuse, NACDS and NCPA say that making pseudoephedrine available by prescription would harm consumers, burden the health care system and needlessly hike insurance costs.

The retail pharmacy groups outlined their positions in tandem with a hearing by the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, at which CHPA president Linda Suydam testified on the merits of a national electronic tracking system for pseudoephedrine sales.

“Our membership remains committed to working with law enforcement to address this ongoing problem in a manner that stops criminal activity while ensuring that legitimate consumers continue to have access to medications for treatment of colds, flu, and allergies,” NACDS said in its statement to the caucus.

Pharmacies’ voluntary actions to help prevent pseudoephedrine products from being used to make methamphetamine include placing them in store areas where access can be controlled, limiting sales and participating in theft-deterrence programs. They also participate in anti-methamphetamine education for youth, teach employees to identify instances in which these products may be purchased for illicit purposes, and report suspicious activity in stores to law enforcement.

NACDS says its members have cooperated with the Drug Enforcement Administration and state and local law enforcement officials since 1995 to stem methamphetamine production and have worked with Congress to advance legislation addressing the problem.

If Congress decides additional steps are needed, NACDS says it would prefer e-tracking to a prescription-only approach. “However, it is imperative that such a program be designed to include provisions that minimize safety risks and compliance burdens for retailers and consumers,” NACDS stated.

NCPA’s statement noted that “consideration must be given to the cost of implementation of an electronic tracking system on pharmacy operations.”


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