CHPA: Prescription-only PSE requirements would be burden to consumers

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Friday released a statement regarding a poll released last week by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. 

"The 2013 survey confirmed what we have already been hearing in the states — that the large majority of cold, flu and allergy sufferers oppose legislation that would require them to obtain a doctor's prescription before buying safe and effective medicines containing pseudoephedrine," stated Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO.

Results of the survey found that 62% opposed OTC-to-Rx switches for drugs, with more than 18 million households in the United States depending on OTC drugs containing pseudoephedrine to relieve common symptoms. Lately, some states have sought to make PSE drugs Rx-only in an attempt to combat the manufacture of methamphetamine, for which the drug is a key ingredient.

A strong majority of respondents deal with allergy symptoms for more than two months per year and only 1-in-5 patients can get in to see their doctor the same day, with nearly one-quarter (22%) having to wait more than a week to get an appointment. 

When including drive time, waiting-room time and the visit itself, only 1-in-5 patients surveyed spend less than an hour when visiting the doctor, with nearly one-third (30%) requiring two or more hours per visit; 1-in-10 (9%) required three or more hours per visit. 

"In addition to the overwhelming majority of respondents who are concerned about the burdens associated with a prescription mandate, the survey found that many patients are already frustrated by having to wait multiple days to see their doctor, make costly co-payments and deal with a shortage of family doctors," Melville said. "Without question, these many burdens would be exacerbated by a prescription requirement. With these new findings in mind, CHPA will continue to work with AAFA to make sure lawmakers consider the needs of patients when crafting legislative solutions to the meth problem."