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Sides Spar Over Tighter Indiana Cold Medicine Limits

Last updated on Tuesday, January 28, 2014

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A statehouse push to require a prescription for some over-the-counter cold remedies is dead for the year.

Oregon and Mississippi have required prescriptions for medication containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in making meth. Indiana cities and police agencies argue it's a tool they need too. The Indiana Association of Cities and Towns says it cost more than five-million dollars last year to go after meth labs and clean up the toxic mess they leave behind.

But Michael Brady with the Indiana State Medical Association warns requiring prescriptions for Sudafed and similar products would drive patients' costs way up, and take doctors' time away from more serious ailments by flooding their calendars with new patients.

The House Criminal Code Committee heard testimony on one of four bills introduced this year on the topic, but won't vote on sending it to the floor. Chairman Jud McMillin (R-Brookville) says he wanted to keep the discussion going, but isn't yet persuaded the state needs to take such a drastic step. And he says the bill would be dead on arrival in the Senate anyway.

Legislators killed similar proposals last year, instead passing a yearly cap on how much pseudoephedrine medication you're allowed to purchase.

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