Last year, the West Virginia Legislature debated legislation that would restrict sales of pseudoephedrine (PSE) - containing drugs that are currently sold over-the-counter (OTC).
Under one policy proposal, consumers would be required to have a doctor’s prescription to purchase products that contain the decongestant pseudoephedrine (PSE). The proposal would limit consumers’ over-the-counter access to medications used to treat cold, flu, and allergy symptoms. The primary intention of such a policy is to reduce the availability of PSE products to those who would purchase them to manufacture methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance.
The first section of this analysis highlights the changes in the meth market resulting from recent regulatory efforts covering PSE-containing medications. The second section offers estimates of the additional costs associated with a shift to a prescription-only requirement in West Virginia.