Stuffy Nose Could Mean a Trip to the Doc's Office

A crime-fighting bill moving through the California Legislature would force patients to get a doctor's prescription to buy a common remedy for stuffy noses.

The measure by Inglewood state Sen. Rod Wright would make it an infraction or misdemeanor to obtain ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or related drugs without a prescription.

Those are common ingredients in cold medicines, but they're also used to make illegal methamphetamine. Wright says he wants to get them out of drug dealers' hands.

But Sen. Sam Aanestad, an oral surgeon and Republican from Grass Valley, says prescriptions would boost the cost of a $4 bottle of nose spray to $40 or $50. He would rather limit the amount of medication one person can buy.

A 22-10 vote sent the bill to the Assembly.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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