Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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March 10, 2013

THIRD HOUSE: Yoder not in favor of cold medicine prescriptions

GOSHEN — Indiana has a bad problem.

It’s methamphetamine, state Sen. Carlin Yoder said, and the drug is tearing up Hoosier communities. However, the lawmaker doesn’t feel making key meth ingredients prescription-only is the way to go.

Yoder, R-Middlebury, and state Rep. Wes Culver, R-Goshen, discussed a range of legislative issues at a Third House session in downtown Goshen Saturday. Around 25 people attended the gathering at the city Chamber of Commerce.

Yoder said his bill is an attempt to prevent ephedrine and pseudoephedrine becoming available only by prescription. He said there are now daily and monthly caps on how much of those materials someone can buy. Yoder’s proposes a yearly cap, as well.

The lawmaker explained that even with his bill, someone would be able to buy eight months’ worth of the product without prescription.

“If you need more than eight months of this product,” Yoder said, “you really should be under a doctor’s care anyway.”

Yoder indicated that for people who legitimately need ephedrine and pseudoephedrine products, a prescription-only scenario would make it difficult for them to get the medicines without their costs rising substantially. He also said doctors wouldn’t want to deal with a prescription-only plan, either.

Under the Senate-approved bill anyone convicted of a meth-related crime within the prior seven years would need a prescription to buy the ingredients.

“I think that’s reasonable and fair as well,” Yoder said.

According to Yoder, meth use in Oregon has not gone down despite the prescription-only measures in place there. He said meth made in Mexico — purer and cheaper to manufacture — is flooding the illicit drug markets in Oregon, California and elsewhere. Yoder feels the prescription remedy could cause that same problem here.

“I frankly do not want to see that stuff show up in Indiana,” he said.

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