TinMan on the “Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005”

Reader TinMan sends a rant on…

the “Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005” and how it relates to what drug companies would consider “progress” – i.e. taking prescription drugs into the OTC arena.

My current bout of angst is due to my requirement (need, addiction?) of Zyrtec with a decongestant (Zyrtec-D). Now Zyrtec has recently gone OTC, thank goodness for the FDA, and that puts me into a bind when it comes to prescription meds in that this particular compound is now no longer covered and all the requisite ‘recordkeeping’ required for processing prescription paperwork/insurance filings.

Adding to the misery is the fact that the decongestant formulation contains pseudoephedrine (PSE) which, as we ALL know is the main precursor to methamphetamine, is now OTC but “behind the counter”.

In reading through this act, which by-the-by was (from what I could tell) tacked on to the renewal of the Patriot Act (gack!), the federal requirements/limitations on the manufacture and sale of PSE-containing products dictates not only how retailers are allowed to sell but including additional record keeping requirements in addition to stipulating how the controlled chemical’s are packaged by the manufacturers!

What’s turned from a simple, less than 5 minute process of “I’m here to pick up my prescription for Fetch”, swipe my credit card, sign their ‘prescription receipt’ logbook, and I’m gone to this:

Me: I need 3 boxes of 24-count Zrytec-D (using the monthly limit of 9 grams in a single visit; 120mg/pill, 24 pills/box).

Pharmacy Tech (PT): I can only sell you 2. I don’t make the laws sir. (note – this has put a requirement on pharmacies to employ PTs now since they’re the lowest-authorized employee allowed to sell ‘controlled’ substances which PSE now is; oh, and there’s a daily limit of 3.6 grams regardless of the monthly limit)

Me: Fine, 2 boxes then.

PT: Can I see some ID (I hand her my passport – specifically don’t want/need my address there)

PT: Address?

Me: Let me do that (I write in my work address & sign)

Me: Nothing like inconveniencing the people who really need the medication…

Pharmacist: That’s true…and you’re not the only one.

So, I finally purchase my “OTC” meds to the tune of $47.98 (for 48 pills!!!!) and go to take one when I get to work: two boxes, each with 24 INDIVIDUALLY WRAPPED PILLS!!!

What has this world come to!?

We go from purchasing a single bottle of prescription medication (60 pills) for a $30 co-pay (total cost around $90 based upon what “savings” I was being shown) with the bottle being recyclable all in less than 5 minutes.

To 2 paper boxes each stuffed with 24 individually plastic & paper wrapped pills for nearly $50 that practically screams of the TSA performing pharmacy sales!

Not only excessively costly for the consumer (when compared to it being a covered med) but then the overall impact to the environment for packaging & disposal of the packaging once used.

“Gotta slow down these tweakers in their labs ya know…”

All to combat an ‘epidemic’ that no amount of law enforcement seems capable of stopping.

I guess I’ve never been exposed to the epidemic (lived in Dallas/Fort Worth for the past 12 years, now in the NYC area) so I don’t necessarily know the ramifications of meth but still. Square that with a family of 6 (4 children) who all happen to get sick at the same time and you’re left to wonder “Who gets to suffer tonight since the government wouldn’t let me purchase enough medications to soothe everyone…”

The rant above was by Reader TinMan. Your thoughts?