Missouri Town Requires Prescriptions for Cold, Allergy Medications

Union, Mo., just became the second town in the U.S. to pass a law that requires a prescription to buy (formerly) over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines such as Sudafed, Aleve Cold & Sinus and Claritin D, which contain the methamphetamine ingredient pseudoephedrine, the Associated Press reported Oct. 14.

According to Drug Enforcement Administration statistics, Missouri has had more meth lab incidents — including arrests and seizures — than any other state. 

Union Mayor Mike Livengood said he would like to see the state pass a prescription-only law. “But they don’t seem like they want to address it,” said Livengood. “We figured at the grassroots level we’d start at the bottom and work our way up, and maybe they’ll realize we’re serious about this issue.”

Critics of the law include the Missouri Medical Association, Missouri Retailers Association, and the Missouri Pharmacy Association, which said the ordinance will make it harder and more expensive for those who really need the drugs to obtain their medication. 

“We feel this places an added burden on patients who need an effective decongestant,” said Mary Frances Faraji, a spokeswoman for Schering-Plough, the maker of Claritin D.

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