Makers of cold medicine are changing their products to make it nearly impossible to convert them into illegal methamphetamine, says USA Today. At least 44 states have passed or are considering laws to restrict products that contain pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used to make meth. The U.S. Senate is considering legislation that would impose strict standards on products made with pseudoephedrine. The bill proposes placing the products behind the counter, requiring customers to show identification, and sign a log book, and limiting how much can be sold at a time.
Drug makers Pfizer and Leiner Health Products are adding new lines of decongestants that use phenylephrine, which works similarly to pseudoephedrine and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer will continue to manufacture Sudafed and other products with pseudoephedrine. “The whole issue here has been getting the right balance,” says Pfizer spokesman Jay Kosminsky. “We want to keep it out of the hands of criminals but make it available to consumers.”