This week, Indiana House Leader Brian Bosma proposed a bill requiring a prescription for cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine. Bosma seems to think that making cold medicine prescription-only will help Indiana fight against methamphetamine abuse.
Meth use hasn’t declined since we started putting restrictions on pseudoephedrine. It’s actually increased.
Furthermore, authorities say the majority of meth in the U.S. now comes from Mexican drug cartels. That meth isn’t just more readily available — it is cheaper and of higher quality than the meth produced using cold medicine. Other people who make methamphetamine use the raw ingredients purchased in bulk from across the border rather than using cold medicine.
My listeners think Bosma is doing what medical lobbyists want him to do. My conclusion: this will have no effect on reducing meth use.
It will, however, make getting cold medicine much more expensive and inconvenient if you have to pay for a doctor visit and the prescription.