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Mississippians React to Rushed Pseudoephedrine Debate Raging in the State Legislature
Date:1/30/2010

Consumers Oppose Prescription Mandate; Prefer Alternative Method to Fighting Meth

JACKSON, Miss., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mississippians are expressing outrage at lawmakers' rush to change over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) to a prescription (Rx) drug.

"The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) has provided a phone number for Mississippians to contact their legislators which within the first day fielded scores of calls from around the state. We have heard their outrage on talk radio, and online posting to news web pages. And recent polling shows almost two-thirds of Mississippi voters oppose the legislation. Everyone wants to fight meth, but Mississippians believe an electronic tracking procedure is better than the added cost and burden of a prescription mandate," said Elizabeth Funderburk of CHPA.

CHPA's legislative call line for Mississippians is 1-866-346-8118 or they can visit www.StopMethNotMeds.org.

Almost two-thirds of Mississippi voters surveyed oppose making common cold and allergy medications containing PSE available by Rx-only, and 74 percent agree that an Rx-only requirement would create an "unnecessary burden" for law-abiding citizens (2010, DB Research). While those voters were not heard or even considered before last week's rushed House vote, Mississippians are now making their voices heard and contacting their state Senators.

Last week, the state's House passed H.B. 512, legislation that would impose an Rx-only mandate on commonly available cold and allergy medications containing PSE, without a hearing and are now trying to push identical legislation through the Senate (S.B. 2339). Should this legislation pass, it would place an unnecessary burden on families, significantly increase consumer costs, and hurt the state's finances at the worst possible time.

"Because Mississippi does not tax prescription drugs, this legislation would also divert $590,000 from the general fund annually, as well as increase the costs to Mississippi's Medicaid program through increased doctor's visits and prescriptions as a result," Funderburk continued. "This would be an expensive new mandate from the state on the budgets of Mississippi families and Mississippi taxpayers. There is a better way to fight meth, and that's through establishing an electronic tracking program to stop the illegal sale to criminals."

The proposed prescription legislation flies in the face of Mississippi voter sentiment. Sixty-one percent of Mississippi voters surveyed are opposed to an Rx-only law. And 59 percent indicate they feel the legislative train is speeding forward too fast, agreeing: "Before my state's lawmakers enact a new law, they should study the economic impact and societal burden a prescription law would pose."

What the lawmakers don't want the public to realize is that they are rejecting a better way to address the state's methamphetamine problem without limiting consumer access to these important medicines – a real-time electronic tracking (e-tracking) system of PSE purchases at the pharmacy or service counter. E-tracking is successfully being implemented across a growing number of states, including neighboring Louisiana in the near future. Two-thirds (66 percent) of those surveyed support such a system in Mississippi, as well.

The survey, conducted from January 14-23, involved 350 Mississippi state residents aged 18 or over, all of whom voted in the last election, and has a margin-of-error of +/-5.2%. The survey was sponsored by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

David Binder Research has been a source for innovative research for more than 25 years, providing high-quality survey, focus group and media research services to clients throughout the United States.

CHPA is the 129-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements.

www.chpa-info.org  

SOURCE Consumer Healthcare Products Association

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SOURCE Consumer Healthcare Products Association
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