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Gov. Bill Haslam Announces Anti-Meth Bill

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday proposed legislation that would require a prescription to obtain more than a 20-day supply of cold medicines used to make methamphetamine.

The Republican governor said the bill is meant to target illegal drug production with medicines such as Sudafed, which contain pseudoephedrine, while also maintaining access for people who need it.

"You've got to remember that 97 percent of people buying pseudoephedrine are buying it for legitimate reasons," Haslam said. "They're out there with real cold and sinus problems."

Under the governor's plan, people could buy up to 2.4 grams each month of products used to make meth. That's about 10 days' worth of the maximum dose. Pharmacists could allow another 10 days' worth, but anyone needing any more would have to get a doctor's prescription.

The monthly amount of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine that could be purchased without a prescription under Haslam's proposal is the equivalent to the average annual total purchased by Tennesseans.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a pharmaceutical industry group, said it opposes what it called "severe restrictions" on cold and allergy medications.

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