Ephedrine: Prescription Or Over The Counter?

CARSON CITY, NV - You may have certain ads in the local paper. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association tells you to beware of Senate Bill 203.

Its government in your medicine cabinet.

“137 plus medications that are cold medication: allergy medication, flu medication that will not be affected by this bill. In fact, there are only 17 medicines that will be affected,” says Carson City’s District Attorney Neil Rombardo.

Go down the cold and flu aisle of the pharmacy and you can see those 17 medications are already treated differently. Those that contain ephedrine, a major component in the street drug meth, must be purchased at the pharmacy counter itself but only with your picture ID and a signature. It’s these same medications that will be affected by SB 204---the rest will remain the same.

“You have an established relationship with your doctor, you can call your doctor and they can call in a prescription,” says Rombardo.

But if you don't, that $8.00 box of Sudafed could cost you $68 because a doctors office visit will essentially will be tacked on to the charge.

Two other states, Oregon and Mississippi, have similar laws already on the books, and Rombardo says they have seen a significant drop in meth labs, usage, and arrests.

When you consider the loss of life, property, not the mention the cost to law enforcement and prosecutors in other words the tax payer, Rombardo says the benefits trump the burden.

While many would disagree, we talked to two women who would like to see SB 203 pass.

“Well it’s really the greater cost to society. It's the end result, because it targets our youth, it targets our education, and targets families,” says Leslie Matucci a Reno resident.

“And you can see what its doing to people, and it’s not good,” says Pamela Mitchell.

Senate Bill 203 could pass out of committee by the end of this week, and head to the Senate Floor. If approved there, it will go to the Assembly where the debate will start all over again.

We asked Governor Sandoval if he would sign Senate Bill 203 if it lands on his desk.

The Governor told us he hasn’t examined the bill thoroughly enough to answer.

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