Pseudoephedrine

Drug Enforcement Agency

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is calling on state lawmakers to make certain cold medicines used to create methamphetamine available by prescription only.

In a letter Thursday, the Democrat asked the Republican-led Legislature to limit pseudoephedrine sales to people with prescriptions. It would apply to cold medicines like Sudafed.

Manchin pointed to successes Oregon and Mississippi, where the medicine is prescription-only.

Ashton Marra speaks with Senator Greg Tucker--who backed a bill to restrict sales of pseudoephedrine--about major retail pharmacies announcing plans to stop selling the drugs. Marshall University professor Vincent Sollars recently received a nearly $500,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute for his unique cancer research involving canalization. The 24th season of the Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University  features plays exploring the topics of our day. Also, The Bottle Rockets perform "Big Lots of Love" on this Mountain Stage song of the week.

West Virginia Legislature

Two major retailers in West Virginia announced this week they would no longer be selling some over the counter cold medications in their stores. CVS Pharmacies stopped selling single-ingredient pseudoephedrine medicines in late June and Walgreens intends to follow suit.

Senator Greg Tucker of Nicholas County sponsored legislation this year intended to curb the meth problem by making psuedoephedrine—meth’s main ingredient—available only by a doctor’s prescription. The bill, however, died in the final hours of the session.

Quinn Dombrowski / flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/

After a bill to make pseudoephedrine available only through a doctor's prescription died on the final night of the legislative session this year, two pharmacies are announcing their intentions to stop selling the drug.

Drug Enforcement Agency

  Pseudoephedrine sales in West Virginia are down 30 percent this year compared to the same five-month period in 2013.

Data from the NPLEx tracking system show pharmacies in West Virginia have sold 145,526 boxes of cold medications containing pseudoephedrine since January. Pharmacies sold 205,113 boxes during the same period last year.

The data also show a 40 percent decrease in the number of pseudoephedrine purchases that are blocked.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senators and Delegates worked late into the night, as usual, on the final day of the session voting on bills. The frenzy, however, was too much for some issues. Here are a few of the bills that got lost in the mix and didn’t pass before the midnight deadline.

SB 6

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A state bill would no longer change West Virginia law to require prescriptions for cold medicines that are used to make methamphetamine.
 
Instead, lawmakers tweaked the proposal to cut in half how much medicine someone can buy each year.
 

The pharmaceutical industry is mounting a media blitz against a West Virginia bill requiring prescriptions for cold medicines.
 

Three Senate Bills and Where the House Stands

Feb 28, 2014
Aaron Payne

Senate Bill 373: The Water Protection Bill

The House has had S.B. 373 for nearly a month and Thursday, a bipartisan group of delegates sent a letter to Governor Tomblin requesting a special session with the sole focus on this bill.

One senate leader was not pleased with the request. Senate Majority Leader John Unger said he and his colleagues would refuse an extended session because he feels the House has had the bill long enough.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill to increase the penalty for transporting narcotics into West Virginia.
 
The bill increases prison time from 1 year or more to up to 15 years. The bill states that individuals convicted of the felony charge may be fined up to $25,000.
 

The Senate passes a bill that would make pseudoephedrine available by prescription only. Committees in the state legislature's upper house also took up bill pertaining to the budget and drug testing of coal mine employees who work in safety-related positions. Members of the House consider legislation allowing businesses to reduce the number of hours an employee works to avoid layoffs. Also, state Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Phares talks with Ashton Marra about a teacher hiring bill passed in the House, another bill that would limit the timeline for the state to take control of a county school system, and how schools are ensuring the safety of students after the Jan. 9 spill into the Elk River.

Ashton Marra

Senators put the highly anticipated prescription only pseudoephedrine bill to a vote Tuesday, but only after receiving a last minute amendment on the floor.

Senate Judiciary Chair Corey Palumbo moved to amend the bill to address someone buying cold medicine in another state and bringing it back to West Virginia.

The amendment allows a court hearing before being tried on a drug charge when a person without a prior drug conviction is caught with less than 3.6 grams, or the federal daily limit.

Senators vote on seven bills, reject one, and also down amendments to the prescription-only pseudoephedrine bill. The House of Delegates passes a bill to expand the hours of alcohol sales at some businesses to include Sunday brunch. Senators Mike Green and Daniel Hall talk about Wyoming County's own water issues and what they're hoping to do to solve the problem.

The House of Delegates passes a bill to make the sale e-cigarettes illegal to minors and addresses the issue of sexual abuse of minors. The
Senate deals with two issues--state purchasing and pseudoephedrine--that have been in mind since interims. Representatives of the Our Children, Our Future campaign to end child poverty discuss their legislative priorities with Beth Vorhees.

Ashton Marra

Senators unanimously passed a bill requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine through committee and will soon vote as a whole on a bill reforming state purchasing procedures. Both issues were studies during the previous interim session.

Senator Greg Tucker sponsored the prescription only bill which makes pseudoephedrine a controlled substance, requiring a prescription for its purchase. The bill made it through Senate Judiciary after three hours of debate.

The Senate moves a bill that would make pseudoephedrine prescription-only as a Schedule IV controlled substance, the House of Delegates reacts to Monday's public hearing on SB 373. As Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on State Water Resources, Del. Mike Manypenny has big questions and concerns over the water after this month's chemical spill.

The Senate moves a bill to make pseudoephedrine prescription-only, the House of Delegates weighs public comments in regards to the Senate's water protection and above-ground storage tank regulation bill, and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey talks about a his office's investigation on the chemical spill, price gouging, and the need for more legislative audits.

Subscribe to the podcast for daily downloads of the program.

Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Resources was the first to take action on Senate Bill 6 Tuesday, regulating the sale of drug products used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Senate Bill 6:

The House of Delegates responds to accusations that the triple committee reference of the Senate's chemical spill bill means certain demise. The Senate plans to get children exercising, rehabilitation programs to quell prison overcrowding, and a bill to create a future fund for mineral severance taxes. Former Charleston Daily Mail business editor and current West Virginia Press Association writer George Hohmann talks Senator John Unger's 'Move to Improve' initiative and minimum wage. Eric Eyre of The Charleston Gazette discusses prescription-only pseudoephedrine legislation aimed at stifling meth production.

The Senate amends the most widely discussed bill of the session thus far, Senate Bill 373--that seeks to protect water resources, the House passes a bill that would increase penalties for the possession of child pornography, and Health & Human Resources Committee Chairs Senator Ron Stollings and Delegate Don Perdue talk a wide range of issues related to medicine and public health--from the health effects of the  chemical spill to moves to make pseudoepedrine available by prescription only.

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