In a rare joint meeting, the judiciary committees of both Kentucky General Assembly chambers will hear testimony on pseudoephedrine.
Pseudoephedrine (PSE) is the key ingredient in many over-the-counter cold medicines and is essential to meth production. Tomorrow, the House and Senate Judiciary committees will hear testimony on how to control PSE.
Oklahoma does not require a prescription for PSE unless the buyer has been convicted of a meth-related crime. That’s the approach the health care industry supports. Mississippi requires anyone buying PSE to have a prescription. That’s an approach the Kentucky State Police and Senate leadership prefer.
Officials from both Oklahom and Mississippi will testify tomorrow.
“I wanted to say I’m probably not going to ask for a vote tomorrow on the legislation,” says Senator Tom Jensen. “We’re gonna hear testimony and we may even have to extend it to another meeting with so many people that want to speak. But I think it will be very informative for those who really want to get knowledgeable about this issue.”
Both approaches, prescription and conviction, have been proposed this session.
On Wednesday, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association released a poll show that more than half of respondents don’t favor the prescription-only approach.
Jensen doubts those numbers.
“Well they spent a ton of money trying to persuade people,” Jensen says. “I’m surprised they don’t have higher than 56 percent saying it on a poll. Uh, look at the money and the ads they run every time. Uh, that will tell you how lucrative that business is.”
The CHPA has been running radio and prints ads in favor of their bill, sponsored by Senator Jerry Rhoads. Jensen prefers the prescription-only approach.
Jensen believes his bill has the votes to pass this session, and the Rhoads bill does not. Jensen’s bill made it out of committee last session, but not off the Senate floor.