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.