Momentum is building in Congress to restrict the sale of pseudoephedrine, the decongestant used to make highly addictive methamphetamine. The Des Moines Register says that Iowa leaders are upset that the Combat Meth Act would allow the federal government to supersede tougher legislation enacted this year in Iowa. Narcotics officials in Iowa and elsewhere fear drug companies – which spend more money to lobby Congress than any other industry – are persuading key sponsors to water down the federal act.
Much of the concern has centered on Iowa, where lawmakers this spring passed the nation’s toughest law on pseudoephedrine sales. State legislators required pseudoephedrine products to be sold in pharmacies, except for the lowest-dose liquids. A new draft of the federal measure would allow retail outlets to continue selling liquid- and starch-based pediatric medicines that can be used to make meth – and require all states to follow suit. A spokesman for sponsor Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.), said she was “working with the industry and Republicans to try to get a bill that everyone can support.” The pharmaceutical industry wants a national standard.