Oklahoma impact study: Rx-PSE would increase health costs without reducing meth issue


EDMOND Okla. — According to a report prepared last month by the Economic Impact Group discerning the impact prescription-only pseudoephedrine would have on Oklahoma citizens, prescription-only PSE would result in almost 300,000 additional doctor's office visits at an estimated cost reaching $60 million; $6 million would be directly borne by consumers.

In evaluating the potential cost limiting access of PSE will have on law-abiding consumers, the report also took a look at the effectiveness more restrictive access to PSE has in reducing methamphetamine abuse. Review of methamphetamine treatment admissions across multiple states with varying degrees of PSE restriction found no correlation between more restrictive regulations having any impact on methamphetamine abuse.

"The economic impact study in Oklahoma quantified what we already knew to be true: a prescription requirement for popular and reliable over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines will lead to higher healthcare costs for responsible consumers, lower productivity for Oklahoma businesses, and lost tax revenues for the state," stated Scott Melville, president and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. "Effectively reducing meth production in Oklahoma is a critically important goal, but it's important that methods employed to achieve that goal do not burden law-abiding Oklahomans with significant and unnecessary costs."

"The substitutability of [methamphetamine] products for consumers combined with the ease of access to local markets provided by existing gang infrastructure and relations with Mexican drug trafficking organizations suggests pseudoephedrine restrictions are less likely to reduce patterns of meth abuse," the report concluded. "In fact, society would likely trade one drug-related law enforcement concern for another … thus, the benefits to society may be muted, or even exacerbated, depending on the market behavior of [meth] suppliers in response to a policy shift."

The Economic Impact Group report was funded by a grant provided by CHPA.

For a copy of the report, click here.

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