TBI backs prescriptions for meds used for meth - WKRN News 2

TBI backs prescriptions for meds used for meth

Posted: Updated: Feb 2, 2011 06:02 PM CST

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's director is in favor of legislation that would require prescriptions to buy cold and allergy products that contain an ingredient used to make methamphetamine.

Director Mark Gwyn said after budget hearings at the Capitol on Wednesday that requiring a prescription to buy medicines containing pseudoephedrine could help avoid some of the destructive effects of meth.

"Back in 2005 we passed the Meth Free Tennessee Act and we put pseudoephedrine behind the counter at pharmacies," Gwyn said.

Though the act was to help prevent meth abuse, people were able to get around the law by going to numerous pharmacies to purchase the prime ingredient in both meth and certain cold medicines.

Gwyn is in favor of the proposed new bill that would ban over-the-counter sales of pseudoephedrine and make the purchase of the medication require a doctor's prescription.

"I believe that is the only way we are going to get our arms around the scourge of methamphetamine that has become an epidemic in our state," Gwyn told Nashville's News 2.

The Tennessee Pharmacists Association opposes requiring a prescription to buy certain products such as like Sudafed.

Representative Joe Armstrong told Nashville's News 2 he feels there is a better way to prevent the sale of meth than banning the over-the-counter sale of pseudoephedrine.

"There are so many cold suffers out here, I think that is cutting off the tail to get to the head," Armstrong said.

Armstrong believes the real problem is record keeping and instant tracking systems of pseudoephedrine and has signed on as a co-sponsor of a bill designed to do that.

The bill's sponsors have planned a news conference Thursday at Legislative Plaza to detail their legislation.

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