February 3, 2016

Hoosier Pharmacists Given Bigger Role In Stemming State's Meth Crisis

House and Senate lawmakers overwhelming approved bills Wednesday that give pharmacists a bigger role in helping stem the state’s meth cooking crisis.   - Drew Daudelin

House and Senate lawmakers overwhelming approved bills Wednesday that give pharmacists a bigger role in helping stem the state’s meth cooking crisis.

Drew Daudelin

INDIANAPOLIS -- House and Senate lawmakers overwhelming approved bills Wednesday that give pharmacists a bigger role in helping stem the state’s meth cooking crisis. 

Republican Rep. Ben Smaltz’s bill started out by simply requiring a prescription to buy pseudoephedrine.  But after significant pushback, he found a compromise.  His bill says patients of record at a pharmacy can buy pseudoephedrine over the counter, just as they always have.  New patients will only be able to get a small amount of the cold medicine before needing a prescription.

“We don’t want to impact that hard-working, regular Hoosier who’s just sick," Smaltz said. "But we want to hammer the meth cook.”

Republican Sen. Randy Head’s bill takes a slightly different path.  It would require pharmacists to question anyone who wants to buy pseudoephedrine.

“That pharmacist makes an on-the-spot decision whether they should get pseudoephedrine or not," Head said. "The pharmacist makes the call.”

Smaltz’s bill passed 92-7; Head’s was approved 41-8.

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