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It’s pseudoephedrine season

To the Editor:

Recent news stories have once again brought attention to the success of the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) in Missouri. NPLEx helps law enforcement officers track the sale of pseudoephedrine products and ensure that they do not get into the hands of a small group of criminals who misuse the vital allergy medicine to make meth. In 2014 alone, NPLEx helped block the sale of over 90,000 boxes to criminals in Missouri.

Unfortunately, despite the success of NPLEx, some in our state – including Lt. Jason Grellner, commander of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit – are trying to force Missouri to leave the system, which is used by 29 other states, in favor of making medicines containing pseudoephedrine available only with a prescription. A prescription requirement would greatly inconvenience allergy sufferers, such as myself, and create a terrible drain on our wallets by forcing us to go to the doctor just to get regular allergy medicine.

Other states, including Alabama and Oklahoma, have reduced meth labs without burdening law-abiding citizens by blocking criminals from purchasing pseudoephedrine. They have seen meth lab seizures decrease by almost 80 percent. Lawmakers in Missouri should consider this common sense approach before punishing everyday Missourians.

Craig Workman

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To the Editor:

Recently I found out that St. Louis and Kansas City are considered by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America to be “allergy capitals” of the United States, places where it is “most challenging” to be an allergy sufferer.

As a Missouri resident and severe allergy sufferer, I rely on access to over-the-counter allergy products to make allergy season bearable.

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant found in many popular over-the-counter medicines that some legislators want to make available only with a prescription because a small number of criminals misuse them to make meth. Thankfully, our state has already enacted laws that help stop these bad actors, including joining NPLEx, which tracks the sale of pseudoephedrine and does not allow these criminals to purchase more than what is allowed under the law.

Prescription requirements for pseudoephedrine would create an unbearable burden for law-abiding citizens like myself.

Allergies are incredibly difficult to deal with, we do not need to make it harder by being forced to visit our physician to get safe and effective allergy medicine.

Angie Fox

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