Lawmaker Warns TBI To Think Twice About Push To Make Cold Meds Rx-Only

Memphis Democrat Jim Kyle says the TBI should rethink its push for cold medicine prescriptions. The issue doesn't break down neatly along party lines. Rep. David Hawk (R-Greeneville) has been leading the push even while fellow Republicans argue against taking away the freedom of consumers to buy medicine they need. Credit: Jim Kyle via Facebook.

Memphis Democrat Jim Kyle says the TBI should rethink its push for cold medicine prescriptions. The issue doesn’t break down neatly along party lines. Rep. David Hawk (R-Greeneville) has led the push even as fellow Republicans argue against taking away the freedom of consumers to buy medicine. Credit: Jim Kyle via Facebook.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is gearing up for another push to require prescriptions for cold medicine used to make methamphetamine. One lawmaker is asking the TBI if this is a fight worth having.

The pharmaceutical companies that make drugs like Sudafed are already lobbying legislators to keep the medicine available without a trip to the doctor. Mississippi and Oregon have started requiring prescriptions. Tennessee only mandates the medicine to be kept behind the counter.

State Sen. Jim Kyle – the Democratic Leader – told the TBI director at an oversight hearing it would take a lot of work to overcome the drug companies, who argue cold medicine should remain convenient.

“It is dangerous waters for an agency such as yours to get involved in politics, but I would say to you on this particular issue, you need to consider the risk and reward.”

TBI director Mark Gwyn says he will give it a second thought. But so far the agency insists prescriptions are the only step proven to slow meth production.

The head of the Tennessee Meth Task Force says the state is on track to lead the country in lab seizures this year with five to seven busts every day.


Please keep your community civil. Comments will be moderated prior to posting, and Nashville Public Radio reserves the right to approve them at its discretion. Comments containing links promoting goods, services - even noble organizations - will not be published. Your comments may include external links, but all comments with links will be delayed as they are reviewed. Comments containing profanity will be rejected.