Manchester Aldermen voted 5:1 Monday night to require a prescription to purchase pseudoephedrine products within the city of Manchester. Alderman John Diehl was the only vote against the new ordinance that will take effect Nov. 15. He previously stated that he felt the requirement pushed shoppers out of Manchester and the issue needed to be handled on a larger scale.
Pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient used to make methamphetamine, is often taken by allergy sufferers and found in many popular over the counter drugs like Sudafed, Claritin-D, Allegra-D and Zyrtec-D.
Currently, those drugs are behind the pharmacist's counter and an ID is required to purchase them. Beginning Nov. 15, a prescription will be required in Manchester.
As previously reported by Patch, some are concerned requiring a prescription will make it costly and inconvenient for cold and allergy sufferers, but drug agents say requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine will make Manchester safer and keep criminals from the community. Manchester Police Chief Tim Walsh also supports the prescription requirement.
In addition to fighting meth locally, proponents of the ordinance say by the cities passing such ordinances, they are putting pressure on St. Louis County and the state by showing them that the cities support such a law. However, representatives for the drug manufacturers say these city ordinances are not swaying state legislatures.
Manchester aldermen heard from both sides of the argument at the last board of aldermen meeting on Oct. 1 and voted to pass the prescription requirement at Monday's meeting.
(Read Previous Story: Drug Agent, Lobbyist Address Meth in Manchester)
Manchester's ordinance includes an exemption, similar to the one in St. Charles County's ordinance, that allows pseudoephederin products that cannot be converted into meth to be sold without a prescription.
Aldermen Paul Hamill said the Nov. 15 effective date should allow people time to get prescriptions and, more importantly, it will allow the new Zephrex-D product to reach the market.
As previously reported by Patch, Zephrex D is expeced to be available in St. Louis area pharmacies Nov. 1. Since its maker and drug agents say it cannot be converted into meth, it can then be sold without a prescription in cities with exemptions like Manchester's in their ordinances.
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