Group wants prescriptions required to buy over-the-counter medicine

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SOUTH CAROLINA - Some people want you to have a prescription to buy medicine that is sold over-the-counter right now and are asking lawmakers to take up their cause.

The group purposing this for South Carolina wants to see this happen in North Carolina too.

They said if they get the law they want here and it's not passed in Raleigh, then people will start crossing the state lines to buy cold medicine to make meth.

Carl James Jones came in to fill a prescription. He said you shouldn't need to visit a doctor to treat a cold.

"You should be able to get cold medicine if you need it," said Jones.

A group called All On Board said the wrong people are using that medicine to make meth.

Bob Norwood and other members of the group asked York County legislators on Monday to change the law and force customers to get a prescription to buy products with pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, the main ingredient for making meth.

"We had 27 meth labs found in South Carolina several years ago and we've had 523 found in 2012," said Norwood.

Local and state law enforcement officers joined them in making the pitch, telling lawmakers that Mississippi adopted a similar law.

"There has been a 70 percent drop in the number of meth labs uncovered in their state."

Sen. Wes Hayes heads the local legislative delegation and calls the meth problem expensive.

"The cost on law enforcement, the cost on treatment, the cost on crime is expensive," said Hayes.

But he said requiring a prescription for cold medicine would face a lot of opposition for drug companies.

"That wouldn't be easy to pass it, and I am not sure we need to pass it, but I think we do need to consider it because what we are doing is not working," said Hayes.

He said he is not sure if he would introduce it.

The next legislative session starts new month.

Hayes believes a measure like this will take more than a year to pass.