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Illinois bill requires prescription for cold meds

Published: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 11:24 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 3:04 p.m. CDT
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
FILE - This July 19, 2010 file photo shows medications containing pseudoephedrine on display behind the counter of a pharmacy in Edmond, Okla. A bill proposed in the Illinois Legislature by a Peoria Democratic state Sen. Dave Koehler would require anyone to get a doctor's prescription to buy any cold and flu drug with pseudoephedrine. The decongestant is an ingredient used to make methamphetamine.

PEORIA — Legislation proposed by a state senator would require anyone with a cold to get a doctor's prescription to buy medicine containing pseudoephedrine.

The bill, sponsored by Peoria Democrat Sen. Dave Koehler, would impact any cold and flu drug with pseudoephedrine, a necessary ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine, according to a report by The (Peoria) Journal-Star.

State law already requires any drug containing pseudoephedrine to be kept behind pharmacy counters. Stores record the IDs of people who buy the medicine and there are limits on how much can be purchased.

"We think it's going to be a game changer in Illinois for meth," said Pekin police Chief Greg Nelson. "Pseudoephedrine is the only required ingredient to make meth."

Two other states — Oregon and Mississippi — require prescriptions for the medicine.

But the proposal is expected to face resistance in Illinois, especially from drug manufacturers and retailers, officials said.

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