A bill authored by State Senator Randy Head (R-Logansport) to help curb meth production in Indiana by changing the way ephedrine and pseudoephedrine products are sold will now move to the governor for final consideration.
Senate Enrolled Act 80 requires a customer who wishes to purchase products containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, the key ingredients to making meth, to be a patient of record with the pharmacy where they are purchasing the medicine.
If the customer does not have a relationship with the pharmacy, the pharmacist can make a professional determination of legitimate medical need by checking prior prescription filling history, through a consultation or other tools that make the legitimate medical need apparent to the pharmacist.
If the pharmacist is unable to identify a legitimate medical need, the customer could purchase meth-resistant forms of the drug like Nexafed or Zyphrex D, which are widely available to customers at a similar price. The customer could also purchase medicines like Sudafed in a dose too small to make meth.
“Eliminating meth production in Indiana has been one of my top priorities this session, and this bill is a strong step in that direction,” Head said. “It’s important to balance this priority by not punishing honest Hoosiers who need access to medicine for themselves or for their families. Hoosiers should know that, contrary to some information currently circulating, this bill will not make cold medicines like Sudafed prescription-only. In fact, the bill would not significantly affect the way average people buy cold medicines that contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. That was our goal at the beginning of the session, and I believe we have met that end with this bill.”
Under SEA 80, pharmacists will be provided immunity from suits for negligence, and the Indiana Board of Pharmacy would be responsible for defining the pharmacist-patient relationship and how a customer could obtain that status, as well as the processes for denying a sale.
Head added that SEA 80 is a result of significant cooperation and teamwork among his fellow lawmakers, specifically from the bill’s sponsor in the House of Representatives, Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn).