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May 28, 2015

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Bill requiring prescriptions for some over-the-counter medicines dies in Senate

Sheila Leslie

Sheila Leslie

CARSON CITY — A controversial bill to require new controls on some legal cold medicines being used in the production of methamphetamine has died in the state Senate.

Sponsor Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, said she didn’t have the votes to pass the bill that would require a doctor’s prescription for drugs that contains pseudoephedrine or PSE.

Leslie said she withdrew the bill “because we have enough battles in the weeks ahead. I’m very disappointed that I could not convince people of the necessity in terms of public safety.”

“It disappoints me greatly that our meth problem is going to continue unabated,” she said.

Drugs containing PSE are now sold behind the counter at pharmacies but does not require a prescription.

The bill had the backing of Carson City District Attorney Neil Rombardo, who testified that cold medicines containing PSE can be purchased for less than $7 and sold to illegal drug makers for $50.

Representatives of drug manufacturers told the Senate Committee of Health and Welfare that a better way to control the problem is to establish a monitoring system to check for those who buy the drugs in large quantities.

But Leslie said those programs have not worked in other states. Legislation has been introduced at the federal level and “that’s where the solution should come from,” she said.

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