Ashton Marra Published

Senator Who Backed Pseudoephedrine Restrictions Reacts to CVS Ban


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.

“I think they’ve realized their responsibility and their role in solving this problem and I think they’re taking steps to do that,” Tucker said Thursday.

Tucker said during the legislative session he ran into pushback from other lawmakers and lobbyists who felt meth was not a West Virginia problem. Tucker disagreed.

He said meth labs are still a major problem in the state, but now may be the time for the federal government to step in and limit the amount of pseudoephedrine a person can buy before needing a prescription.

“I think it is a national problem and it’s going to continue to grow,” he said. “I think Congress needs to address it.”

Both CVS and Walgreens confirmed they made the decision to stop selling the drug after “conversations” with Se. Joe Mancin’s office.

“I wish he had done it a few months ago and gotten active,” Tucker said of the comments, “but he represents the same area I do. He recognizes the problem and I’m pleased to see he’s taken an active role.”

With time, Tucker said, the state should see if the retailers’ decisions to  stop selling the single ingredient form of the drug will curb the meth problem. Until then, he’s not sure if he’ll push for more state regulations.