Poll: Two-thirds of Michigan voters oppose losing access to PSE cold medicine


WASHINGTON  — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Thursday released the results of a recent poll of registered voters in Michigan showing they are strongly opposed to legislation that would require a prescription for over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine.

"This poll of Michigan consumers, showing that a strong majority of voters are opposed to a prescription requirement for current OTC cold and allergy medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, makes clear that there is widespread rejection of unnecessary restrictions on these types of medicine," stated Carlos Gutiérrez, VP for state and local government affairs at CHPA. "From the Upper Peninsula to Detroit, Michiganders reject this costly and over-reaching approach. There are already a number of laws on the books that help to fight the meth problem in Michigan, including the National Precursor Log Exchange, which serve as strong barriers to meth makers getting their hands on medicine containing PSE."

According to the survey:

  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents (65%) treat colds and congestion with medication, and six out of seven of them (86%) use non-prescription (OTC) medication;

  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents (62%) treat allergies with medication, and four out of five of them (80%) use non-prescription medication; and

  • Nearly seven out of 10 respondents (67%) oppose requiring a prescription for OTC cold and allergy medication containing PSE.

"Across the country, state legislatures have rejected attempts to burden consumers by unnecessarily restricting access to safe and effective OTC cold and allergy medicine containing PSE, such as Sudafed and Claritin-D," added Gutiérrez. "According to a recent report from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, 99.8% of the meth in the United States comes from Mexico. It is important to recognize that fact as state legislators consider restricting medicines with PSE and that punishing Michigan families with unfair restrictions has proven to be an ineffective way to combat the meth scourge."

"A main priority for pharmacists is to make sure that patients have access to the medications they need to feel healthy and well. Common cold and allergy medications that have been proven safe by the FDA are easily accessible and readily available and are essential to treating patients effectively," said Larry Wagenknecht, CEO Michigan Pharmacists Association. "The results of this poll demonstrate that patients expect access to medication from pharmacists to improve their quality of care. Patients do not want to have to jump through extra hoops or incur additional expenses to acquire medications that they have been accustomed to using to treat their minor colds and allergies."

"This poll demonstrates that a strong majority of our customers do not want to be forced to visit a doctor to gain access to medicine that has been available over-the-counter for over 40 years," added Amy Drumm, Michigan Retailers Association's VP government affairs. "We strongly support efforts to stop meth production in Michigan but the solutions should be focused on targeting the criminal element that makes the drug, not honest cold and allergy sufferers."

The telephone survey was conducted by Basswood Research, Nov. 12-14, 2016, and included 600 registered voters living in Michigan. The survey margin of error was +/-4% at a 95% confidence interval, and data were weighted to reflect actual voting patterns in the state.


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