3:17pm

Thu October 6, 2011
The Commonwealth

Prescription-Only Proposal

Legislation that would require patients to get a doctor's prescription before buying common cold medicines failed in the Kentucky General Assembly earlier this year, but a federal official hopes lawmakers will re-examine the issue. Many cold medications contain pseudoephedrine, which is an ingredient used to make meth. Benjamin B. Tucker with the White House Office of Drug Control Policy says that's why his office supports the stricter measure.

"We know that in terms of states like Oregon and states like Mississippi who have gone to prescription only, what we call scheduling that drug so it has to be obtained by prescription, has produced dramatic results in terms of the number of lab seizures, the size of the labs that exist in those jurisdictions. And the numbers have decreased dramatically."

Tucker spoke in Lexington Wednesday at a drug summit hosted by the Kentucky League of Cities.

Police investigated more than 1,000 meth labs across Kentucky last year. Critics of the prescription-only proposal say it would be a burden for law-abiding citizens and drive up healthcare costs.