Pseudoephedrine argument louder than ever - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Pseudoephedrine argument louder than ever

Posted: Updated:
Delegate Don Perdue Delegate Don Perdue
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Victim identified in fatal accident near Cyclone, WV

    Victim identified in fatal accident near Cyclone, WV

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:11 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:11:16 GMT
    According to officials in Wyoming County, the driver was thrown from the vehicle.
    According to officials in Wyoming County, the driver was thrown from the vehicle.
  • Man accused of selling drugs near school faces jury in Tazewell, VA

    Man accused of selling drugs near school faces jury in Tazewell, VA

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:40 AM EDT2014-09-02 15:40:49 GMT
    A trial began in Tazewell County on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 for a man who is accused of selling drugs. Joseph Panagopoulas is charged with Distribution of a Schedule II Drug, Distribution on School Property and Conspiracy.
    A trial began in Tazewell County on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 for a man who is accused of selling drugs. Joseph Panagopoulas is charged with Distribution of a Schedule II Drug, Distribution on School Property and Conspiracy.
  • WV Wilderness group fights against gas companies over pipeline in Pocahontas County

    WV Wilderness group fights against gas companies over pipeline in Pocahontas County

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:40 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:40:53 GMT
    The West Virginia Wilderness group has been fighting three gas companies for months, who want to put a pipeline in Pocahontas County .Lauren Ragland is the founder of West Virginia Wilderness and said the pipeline does not belong in Pocahontas County.
    The West Virginia Wilderness group has been fighting three gas companies for months, who want to put a pipeline in Pocahontas County .Lauren Ragland is the founder of West Virginia Wilderness and said the pipeline does not belong in Pocahontas County.
  • ColumnsMore>>

  • What they don't know about energy production

    What they don't know about energy production

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-09-02 10:00:13 GMT
    I really get upset when people call us hillbillies. As I get to visit with people around the country on my “Just the Fracks” book tour, I am learning a lot about what Americans think and know about energy. It seems that the further I get from West Virginia the less people know about where their energy comes from. I have heard some incredible things.
    I really get upset when people call us hillbillies. As I get to visit with people around the country on my “Just the Fracks” book tour, I am learning a lot about what Americans think and know about energy. It seems that the further I get from West Virginia the less people know about where their energy comes from. I have heard some incredible things.
  • Hydraulic fracturing could improve geothermal energy

    Hydraulic fracturing could improve geothermal energy

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:00 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:00:21 GMT
    A recent issue of The Economist had an article titled “Geothermal Energy, Hot Rocks, Why Geothermal Is the New Fracking.” The month before, a New York Times article titled, “Geothermal Industry Grows, With Help from Oil and Gas Drilling.”
    A recent issue of The Economist had an article titled “Geothermal Energy, Hot Rocks, Why Geothermal Is the New Fracking.” The month before, a New York Times article titled, “Geothermal Industry Grows, With Help from Oil and Gas Drilling.”
  • Changes to the oil, gas industry create benefits, concern

    Changes to the oil, gas industry create benefits, concern

    Sunday, August 31 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-08-31 20:00:17 GMT
    Robert N. Hart
    Robert N. Hart

Delegate Don Perdue, D-Wayne, is chairman of the House Health and Human Resources Committee. He has served in the House since 1998.

The white noise being generated by major drug companies and retailers surrounding the issue of prescription pseudoephedrine (PSE) has reached a decibel range that in 16 years as a legislator I have never seen. 

Why?

Is it that these large corporate concerns have the best interests of West Virginians to heart? Is it that doctors and clinicians think open access to this drug is a compelling patient need? Is it that personal liberties are being challenged to the extent that (somehow) our ability to own firearms is at risk? Is it that only those citizens in counties where the meth labs are proliferating are being damaged financially? Is it that (again, somehow) spending time with a prescriber once a year is more difficult than going through all the current hoops to purchase the drug over the counter?

The answers being pummeled into the consciousness of West Virginians are delivered at high volume and high frequency. But as half-truths ... it really depends on which "half" you believe.

PSE is a cheap drug enhanced into great expense by an undeserved reputation. A reputation that is making billions of dollars for a drug industry that absolutely knows how much of it is used to create toxic, expensive and dangerous labs. A drug industry whose mission to make life more abundant has somehow morphed into a corporate mindset where that abundance may only be delivered in a poisonous cloud of greed.

All of the erroneous charts, studies and suppositions being offered as defense of that greed pale next to the one salient fact that, granting the new technology available in products that are resistant to diversion, no one in West Virginia ... anywhere ... will have to get a prescription for pseudoephedrine. Only those products that can be diverted easily and cheaply in the back seat of a car on a school parking lot, or in a neighbor's house, or an apartment complex or next to a child's bedroom, will be required the added safety measure of required prescription.

Of itself, PSE is not now nor has it ever been a drug that can be used chronically absent a physician's intervention. The package insert asserts it and decades of use has proven it. A prescription drug until 1976, it only gained its fame as the gold standard for decongestion after it was put behind the counter. As a pharmacist for 35 years I can tell you when that happened, America's perception of that "standard" was secured. Because it was kept "back there" it simply had to be better. I warrant that now the "Big Pharma" opponents of Senate Bill 6 are using that undeserved (but unalterable) reputation to suggest the sky will fall.

In Oregon and Mississippi (the two states that have already done so), moving PSE to prescription saw no falling sky, no massive costs, no public outcry. What they saw was a dramatic decrease in the number of toxic labs. The number of burn patients admitted after a fire or explosion and the number of first responders and police threatened when they responded to the scene, either to investigate or gather up the victims, also decreased.

I hope my fellow legislators in the House are not frightened by the volume or misled by the rhetoric. I pray that simple logic cannot be purchased and corrupted by millions spent in advertising and robo-calls. I believe, no matter how deafened we may be by the roar of lobbyists defending a pride of fat cats, West Virginians can still ... see.