Lawmakers Renew Call for Prescriptions for Pseudoephedrine

AUBURN, Ind. (WOWO): Police and prosecutors are renewing a call to require a prescription for cold remedies containing pseudoephedrine.

The decongestant is a key ingredient in methamphetamine. Indiana already limits how much pseudoephedrine you can buy at once, and maintains a database of how much you've bought. Police argue the rise in Hoosier meth labs has been unimpeded.

Auburn Representative Ben Smaltz says the law won't keep people from using meth. But he says making it harder to manufacture would carry significant budgetary and social benefits. Smaltz says nearly 400 children were removed last year from homes where their guardians had been cooking meth. And he says cities and counties have had to spend millions in hazmat cleanups on meth lab sites or places where the materials have been discarded.

Opponents of the bill predict health costs will soar if you have to see a doctor every time you have a cold. Prosecutors say that hasn't happened in Mississippi and Oregon, the two states which have already made the change. And the bills authored by Smaltz and Bedford Senator Brent Steele would include an exemption for relatively new pseudoephedrine compounds which can't be converted into meth without a sophisticated grasp of chemistry.