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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - "Rochester's nosy pharmacists frustrate meth-makers"

Maureen Hayden, CNHI, reports today in the Bluefield, West Virginia Daily Telegraph - the long story begins:

INDIANAPOLIS – Cold medicine sales were on the rise in the small town of Rochester a year ago. So were discoveries of illicit meth labs.

Now, pharmacists are asking more nosy questions of sniffling customers who come looking for products that contain pseudoephedrine – the essential ingredient in homemade methamphetamine.

“The people who wanted it for meth would just walk away when we’d start questioning them,” said pharmacist Harry Webb. “They knew we were on to them.”

Webb, owner of two independent pharmacies in Rochester, hopes to convince lawmakers to give pharmacists throughout the state enough legal cover to refuse people whom they suspect of wanting pseudoephedrine for the wrong reasons.

He and other community leaders are working with Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, who as chairman of the Indiana Abuse and Child Safety Task Force has held hearings on the issue.

“They’ve been looking to us for relief from the misery caused by these meth labs,” said Head. “And when they didn’t get it, they took action themselves.”

In Rochester, the push to squeeze supplies of pseudoephedrine came as local leaders realized that lawmakers weren’t ready to take a tougher, more controversial step of requiring prescriptions for cold remedies. Only two states - Oregon and Mississippi - have done that.

Facing tough opposition from drug lobbyists, prescription proposals have failed at the Statehouse every year for at least the past five years. Legislative leaders predict a similar stalemate for the new session that begins in January.

[More] See photo here.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 12, 2015 12:31 PM
Posted to Indiana Government