Patients Strongly Oppose Prescription-Only Pseudoephedrine

The vast majority of patients wants continued access to OTC medications containing pseudoephedrine and opposes making the drugs prescription-only.

The vast majority of patients wants continued access to OTC medications containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) and opposes making the drugs prescription-only.

This conclusion comes from an Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) survey of more than 2000 adults across 5 US states who experienced cold, cough, flu, asthma, or allergies in the preceding year and purchased nonprescription medications in that time.

In response to diversion of PSE-containing medications for the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine, some state legislatures have moved to make these drugs available only with a prescription.

However, the AAFA survey found 71% of patients unfavorably view pharmacies and grocery stores that remove OTC medications containing PSE from their shelves. In addition, 80% of respondents with cold, cough, or flu symptoms or nasal allergies said they would react negatively toward having to travel to multiple retail locations to purchase all of their medications.

“The results are evidence that patients who need access to these medicines feel very strongly about access,” stated AAFA senior vice president of advocacy Meryl Bloomrosen in a press release. “Patients and caregivers prefer to get medication for themselves and their families all at 1 store, and they deserve the right to that access.”

Other survey findings included:

- 92% of respondents want their pharmacies to stock all safe and effective medications currently on the market

- 84% of patients want the full spectrum of medications to be available, even if they are not currently using them.

- 98% of respondents with cold, cough, or flu symptoms and 88% of those with nasal allergies purchase nonprescription medication to treat their illnesses.