Responding to a series of recentstate actions restricting the retail saleof OTC pseudoephedrine products, thechain drugstore industry is calling fornew national standards that wouldlimit distribution of these drugs tolicensed pharmacies.
The plan, advanced by the NationalAssociation of Chain Drug Stores(NACDS) as a move to combat illegalmethamphetamine production, wouldpreempt all state laws that currentlyrestrict sales of OTC pseudoephedrinedrugs, such as Sudafed and Theraflu,and would keep these products availableto patients without a prescription.
Single-entity pseudoephedrine productscould be sold only by a licensedpharmacist or pharmacy aide frombehind the prescription counter, however.Combination products containingpseudoephedrine would be subjectto similar restrictions effective January1, 2007.
The NACDS proposal also wouldlimit purchases of these OTCs to 9 gwithin a 30-day period. Pharmacieswould be required to maintain a writtenor electronic log of all purchases toassist law enforcement officials.
The chain drug group's officials saidthat these principles for a nationwidestandard to regulate sales of pseudoephedrinedrugs would "strike a balancebetween keeping valuable productsavailable to our consumers and combatingdangerous, illegal practices."
Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.