Oregonians could buy certain cold medicines without a prescription under a bill approved Monday by the Oregon Senate.
People with allergies often look for remedies containing pseudoephedrine. In most states those are available over the counter and include popular brands such as Sudafed. But pseudoephedrine is also used in the production of meth, and Oregon decided more than a decade ago to require a prescription for products containing pseudoephedrine.
With domestic meth production down, Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, said it’s time to make it easier to purchase these medications.
“This is the third attempt to remove this unnecessary barrier for Oregonians to lower their healthcare costs just to purchase a common cold medicine," he said.
The bill would still require pharmacies to track sales of drugs containing pseudoephedrine in order to prevent would-be meth-makers from stocking up. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.
As Knopp suggested, lawmakers have tried several times to pass a similar bill. Its biggest advocate in the Legislature has been Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer, who issued a celebratory press release moments after the bill's passage in the Senate. “Third time is the charm to pass this common-sense bill which will help Oregonians looking for a quick and affordable remedy for allergies and head colds,” said Post. “People shouldn’t be asked to visit a doctor to obtain a prescription for common cold medicine, especially when Oregon is the ONLY state requiring a prescription. We can trust Oregonians more than that.” A spokesperson for Gov. Kate Brown could not say whether the governor supports the bill.