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CHPA Statement on Statewide South Carolina Consumer Poll

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) released the following statement today on a recent poll of South Carolina voters conducted by Basswood Research and supported by CHPA. The poll, which surveyed 600 South Carolina voters March 13-14 , found that a 69-percent-majority of South Carolinians  oppose a proposed law that would require all consumers to obtain a doctor's prescription before buying safe and effective cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE). Similarly, a 57% majority said it would be somewhat or very inconvenient to obtain a prescription for those popular medicines.

"The findings of the recent South Carolina poll are consistent with what we've seen across the country," said Carlos Gutierrez , senior director of state government affairs for CHPA. "Law-abiding consumers oppose the prescription-only approach because it leads to significant economic burdens produced by unnecessary time off work, additional copays, and increased fuel costs. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 18 million American households rely on PSE-based medicines for relief from common cold and seasonal allergy symptoms."

In January 2011, South Carolina launched a balanced solution in the fight against methamphetamine criminals. Known as the National Precursor Log Exchange, the real-time, stop-sale system allows retailers and pharmacists to block unlawful PSE sales in real time—just like a credit card transaction. In a little over two years since the system was implemented across the state, NPLEx has already blocked tens of thousands of possible illegal sales in the Palmetto State[1], and helped law enforcement officials execute numerous meth busts, arrests, and convictions. Despite the system's progress, some South Carolina lawmakers and officials are pushing for a prescription-only law.

"Rather than pursue a policy that would burden responsible taxpayers, South Carolina leaders should focus on balanced solutions that penalize criminals, not law-abiding consumers," Gutierrez concluded.

Key findings from the poll (Courtesy of Basswood Research)

  • By a large margin of 69%-26%, South Carolinians oppose the proposal to require everyone who wants to buy decongestant cold or allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine to first get a prescription from a doctor.   
  • A significant majority (57%-37%) say that it would be somewhat or very inconvenient for them or a family member to have to obtain a doctor's prescription in order to purchase nonprescription cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine.  The level of inconvenience spikes highest among those who have minor children in their home, i.e. parents.  In that subgroup, 67% of respondents say the prescription requirement would be somewhat or very inconvenient.

CHPA is the 132-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.

[1] March 2013 Presentation by Executive Director of the Nevada Prosecution Advisory to the Nevada Board of Pharmacy

SOURCE Consumer Healthcare Products Association
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