Over-the-counter cold pills may be gone from store shelves across much of the Southwest and Midwest this year as states crack down on methamphetamine, reports the Los Angeles Times. At least 20 states are considering tight restrictions on access to Sudafed, NyQuil, Claritin-D, Tylenol Flu, and hundreds of other cold, allergy, and sinus remedies that contain pseudoephedrine. In many states only pharmacists or their assistants would be allowed to dispense the medicines. Customers would have to show identification – and even enter their addresses in a law enforcement database. Some states may also restrict purchases to as few as two to three boxes a month.
The pharmaceutical industry strongly opposes the proposed restrictions, arguing that they would inconvenience legitimate customers, especially in rural areas. But in southwest Iowa, Sheriff Terry Baxter said, “We have to do something. Meth is just taking over.”