The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) commended the State Legislature and Governor Fallin for passing legislation last Tuesday to implement a multi-state tracking system to document the sale of pseudoephedrine (PSE).
The 21-state electronic tracking system will help to hinder illegal methamphetamine production without forcing responsible Oklahoma patients suffering from cold, flu and allergy symptoms to get a prescription for over the counter (OTC) medications containing the ingredient PSE.
In 2010 AAFA’s national survey of more than 2,000 patients found that 71% opposed laws requiring a prescription for OTC medications containing PSE. Two thirds (66%) also said they favored a nationwide electronic tracking system to track and monitor the sale of PSE for illegal use, while protecting patients’ rights to lawfully access necessary medications.
AAFA cautions against the monthly and annual limits on amounts that consumers may purchase under the new Oklahoma law. AAFA’s 2012 Spring Allergy Capitals™ report ranks Tulsa, OK, among the top 30 cities posing the greatest challenge for patients and families suffering from allergies. For many, medicines containing PSE are the only oral decongestants that effectively provide them 12-and 24-hour relief. Under the new law, consumers will be limited to 7.2 grams per month and 60 grams per year. Placing monthly and annual gram limits on cold and allergy sufferers whose quality of life depends on these medications will compromise patient access, but AAFA appreciates that Governor Fallin’s decision to target criminal purchase of PSE rather than impose a burdensome prescription-only mandate is an attempt to balance law enforcement concerns with protecting patient preference.
Founded in 1953, AAFA is an independent, not-for-profit voluntary health agency dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with asthma, allergies and related conditions. Learn more at www.aafa.org/PSE.