ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Cold and flu season is just weeks away and if you have not purchased medicine for a runny nose in a while, you might be surprised to find some cities require a prescription. It’s an effort to combat the methamphetamine problem in Missouri.
Several cities in St. Louis County, as well as Jefferson and Lincoln counties, have ordinances that require residents to get a prescription from their doctor to buy medicines with pseudoephedrine, even though the medicines are sold over the counter.
St. Louis is the latest city to consider adding the same rule.
Pseudoephedrine is the key ingredient to making meth. According to the director of Franklin County’s Drug Task Force, Sgt. Jason Grellner, more than 90 percent of the cold medicine sold in Missouri goes to making meth.
Requiring a prescription is a way of trying to stop the illegal purchases. About 30 communities in Missouri have a prescription-only requirement.
The St. Louis Board of Aldermen was debating the controversial issue Tuesday. While narcotics detectives say the communities that have the ordinance have seen the number of meth labs drop, many people are against the requirement because the cost of paying for a doctor’s visit on top of the cost of the medicine might put the price of cold medicine out of reach for seniors on fixed income or low-income families.