How Big Pharma Keeps Meth Labs Cooking
Lobbyists are battling attempts to legislate cold and allergy medicines
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2013 3:25 PM CDT
Updated Aug 17, 2013 7:00 PM CDT
In this Sept. 2, 2010 file photo, Franklin County Detective Jason Grellner, center, sorts through evidence with a detective and an officer during a raid of a suspected meth house in Gerald, Mo.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

(Newser) – It's pretty easy to make meth at home, and Big Pharma seems intent on keeping it that way, Mother Jones reports. The so-called "one pot" method of meth production relies on pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in medicines like Sudafed and Claritin D. So two states—Oregon and Mississippi—made pseudoephedrine a harder-to-obtain prescription drug, and saw meth-lab numbers fall by 96% and 74%, respectively. But other states that tried passing a similar law ran into Big Pharma's lobbying juggernaut.

Legislators in two dozen states have tried passing bills since 2009, and were deluged by angry phone calls, ad campaigns, and robocalls to constituents. "They'll outspend us 100-to-1," says an Alabama state senator. Lobbyists argue that most US meth comes from Mexico, and Americans need easy access to medicine. True, but meth is cutting a scary path of addiction, burn victims, and ruined homes through America. Big Pharma's "pull in Congress is so strong," says an aide in Washington, that "every time we would schedule a meeting ... anybody who got wind of it would have a meeting with someone from the pharmaceutical industry. They got scared of it."

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Aug 19, 2013 11:02 AM CDT
Addicts and burn victims? Hard to feel sorry for criminals problems in their pursuit of crime. Am I also supposed to feel sorry for armed robbers who get shot holding up a store?
Aug 18, 2013 3:34 PM CDT
Ban the "starter" drug, TOBACCO, which kills 1,400 addicts and another 180 innocent Americans (who were exposed to toxic tobacco smoke) every DAY! Only 12% of Americans still smoke, but we ALL pay for the tobacco drug devastation.
Aug 18, 2013 1:43 PM CDT
Banning or requiring prescriptions is just another example of how government screws the general public for the actions of criminals. They use scare tactics and lies. "Save our chillllllldreeeeeennnnnn" Same old bullshitt. It never stops.