Last year Oregon passed an anti-methamphetamine law that makes it illegal to sell drugs containing pseudoephedrine without a prescription.
I’ve never had a new law effect me as directly and negatively as this one. I suffer from seasonal allergies (hay-fever in the Willamette Valley, pines and juniper in Central Oregon), and of the many drugs I have tried to combat allergies, nothing works as reliably and effectively as pseudoephedrine, especially ones that combine pseudoephedrine and tripolidine (the original actifed and aprodine).
When Oregon first put pseudoephedrine behind the counter and required ID to purchase it I stockpiled as much pseudoephedrine and triprolidine drugs as I could. Yesterday I started to run out, and that was the first time I learned about the new law. I was infuriated.
Today I went to the doctor’s office to get a prescription for Aprodine and Sudafed (two drugs containing pseudoephedrine) and in addition to the long wait I had to endure, I was also hit with sticker-shock at what the drugs cost. 40 tables of Sudafed that used to cost less than $2 over the counter how costs $25 by prescription with NO REFILLS. With my $20 copay for the doctor’s visit I’m getting ding’d 20x what I used to pay. My insurance has to pay over $100 for the visit.
And for what? So we can make it a little bit harder for people to manufacture meth? According to a story I recently heard on NPR, meth usage is actually UP in Oregon as a result of the new law. The drop in locally-produced meth has opened up a flood of new meth from California and Mexico that is more pure and more addictive than the home-made meth manufactured from pseudoephedrine OTC pills.
I can appreciate the state trying to restrict access to this drug, but they need to open a pathway for legitimate consumers to get access to it.