Ryan Knutson writes in the Wall Street Journal:
A nationwide resurgence in illegal methamphetamine labs is prompting state and municipal lawmakers to consider copying an Oregon law requiring a prescription for many cold medicines, a restriction opposed by manufacturers.
Oregon in 2005 became the first state to require a doctor’s prescription for medications containing pseudoephedrine, which is used in about 40 cold and allergy medicines. Pseudoephedrine also is the primary ingredient for methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant.
Oregon’s prescription law goes further than the 2005 federal legislation restricting the sale of pseudoephedrine. Federal law limits how much consumers can purchase per month and during each store visit. It requires retailers to track purchases and refuse the sale of more pseudoephedrine than allowed.
Medicines containing pseudoephedrine also have to be kept behind the counter or in a locked cabinet under the federal law. In addition, authorities have access to retailers’ logs to see who is buying pseudoephedrine and how much…
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