FRANKFORT, Ky. — Despite objections from cold and allergy sufferers, a legislative committee approved a measure Thursday that would allow medications to treat those symptoms that are now sold over-the-counter to be restricted to people with prescriptions.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-5 Thursday to pass the contentious legislation aimed at curbing methamphetamine production by limiting access to popular medications like Advil Cold & Sinus, Allegra D, Claritin-D, Mucinex-D and Sudafed. The bill now goes to the full Senate where its chances are uncertain.
Lawmakers have been debating over the past year about whether to restrict sales of certain medications that contain pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth, an illegal drug that's being widely abused in Kentucky and elsewhere.
A similar proposal cleared the Judiciary Committee last year but was never brought up for a vote by the full Senate.
Senate Republican Floor Leader Robert Stivers II said Thursday he doesn't know if the measure has enough support to survive a floor vote.
Elizabeth Funderburk, a spokeswoman for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, called the committee's vote "a loss for families and workers who depend on these medicines for immediate relief."
Stivers said the legislation is intended to attack a problem, not consumers.
"This problem costs lives," he said. "It's real."
Stivers and Republican Sen. Tom Jensen have pressed hard to get the legislation through the General Assembly. On Thursday, they tried to put a human face on the issue by displaying graphic photographs of people hurt by meth. One showed a pale, sickly young woman ravaged by meth abuse. Another was of a hospitalized woman badly burned in a meth explosion.
Stivers said the legislation, if passed into law, won't solve the entire meth problem, but he contends it would slow it down.
"I don't know if we have the votes in the chamber that's needed to pass it," Stivers said. "If we do, I'd be grateful."
Consumers have vocally opposed the measure. Pat Davis, wife of U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis, testified before the Judicial Committee earlier this year to urge lawmakers not to force people to go to the doctor for a prescription every time they have runny noses or itchy eyes.
Funderburk called Thursday for lawmakers not to pass the legislation but to look instead at measures that would target criminals, not consumers.
"It does not stop meth abuse and will unnecessarily punish the Kentucky families who rely upon these popular, safe and legal nonprescription cold and allergy medicines for relief," she said.
The legislation is Senate Bill 50.
- Feds call for judge to disband police in...
- Malia Obama to enter Harvard in 2017 after...
- US once again forced to turn to Russia for...
- Did woman sway boy to kill his dad? Court...
- Confident Trump seeks knockout of Cruz in...
- Monkey bars alert: Playground concussions are...
- South Africa: Rescued lions explore new home...
- Man abandoned 30 years ago tries to find his...
- Ted Cruz ends his bid for Republican... 80
- Utah GOP all in for Cruz, but Trump... 59
- Kasich dropping out; Trump on clear GOP... 32
- White House: Obama not offended by... 28
- Trump, Clinton all but certain to face... 21
- Trump virtually clinches Republican... 19
- Twice-deported man arrested in Salt... 18
- Orem woman makes history by joining... 17