Dexter aldermen table ordinance requiring prescription for pseudoephedrine

Friday, February 19, 2010

DEXTER, Mo. -- The Dexter Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday evening to table an ordinance that would have required a prescription to purchase certain cold medicines, the Daily Statesman newspaper reported.

Following in the footsteps of two area communities, the issue was brought before the board in January at the request of some local pharmacists.

According to City Administrator Mark Stidham, the move was requested because pharmacists had noticed that since other communities began enacting similar requirements, people had begun coming to Dexter to buy medicines containing pseudophedrine.

The medicines in question, which contain pseudoephedrine -- a key ingredient in methamphetamine production -- are currently regulated and placed behind the counter, but anyone is still able to purchase them.

While the aldermen are still technically considering the issue, concern was shown for what it would mean to get cold medicine if someone was to get sick.

Alderman Rick Hux noted that he was concerned that getting cold medicine would mean a $65 office visit for a simple cold.

Alderman Kent Essner also stated that he understands the state is currently examining this very issue and suggested that the board table it to see what the state does.

Should the state enact a law requiring prescriptions, the city would not need to pass an ordinance at all.

Current Missouri statute 195.417 limits the amount of medications containing pseudoephedrine an individual can purchase in a specified amount of time.

The same law also requires that records be kept that state to whom and when the product was sold.

Those same records, according to state law, "shall be open for inspection and copying by municipal, county, and state or federal law enforcement officers whose duty it is to enforce the controlled substances laws of this state or the United States."

Any medicines currently on the shelves would not be affected by the passing of the ordinance. The proposed ordinance would only affect cold and sinus medicines that contained pseudoephedrine, which are currently only available from behind the counter of a pharmacy.

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