T Nation

Logging Your Medicine

Yet another invasion of privacy.

Cold pills? Sign here

Friday, May 19, 2006

By MARY JO LAYTON
STAFF WRITER

How do you spell cold relief? ID.

A growing number of North Jersey pharmacies are requiring customers to show identification when purchasing cold and allergy medicines as part of the federal government’s crackdown on illegal drug production.

The new federal law also requires stores to move these everyday products off the shelves – and keep them behind the counter. In addition, customers are restricted on the amount of Sudafed, Sinutab and other drugs they may buy.

These medicines contain pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient used to manufacture methamphetamine, an illegal drug. Meth is made in clandestine labs with battery acid, drain cleaner or other chemicals that help turn the cold and allergy medicine into the highly addictive powder.

The law is part of the USA Patriot Act, which takes aim at drug dealers along with terrorism. When it went into effect last month, pharmacists were forced to remove these common products from their shelves and to limit the supply to customers. Come September, all pharmacists will be required to ask customers for ID and keep a log of purchases of drugs containing pseudoephedrine.

Many pharmacists and retailers, including CVS, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Target, have begun carding customers nationwide before they make these routine purchases.

The law has angered customers like Marina Wilson, who didn’t like having to produce her driver’s license just to buy her daughter medicine recently. “It’s just another invasion by the government on my privacy,” the Hackensack resident said. “Do I look like I run a drug lab?”

While customers initially balked, they do comply, said Javier Rodriguez, a pharmacist at Target in Edgewater.

“Some people might think it’s an intrusion of their privacy but everybody understands why when we explain it,” he said.

Bob Zadra cleared shelf space behind the counter at Town & Country Pharmacy in Ridgewood and said the change is presenting minimal inconveniences. “We’ve moved it off the shelves and eliminated it as an over-the-counter purchase,” said Zadra, a pharmacist and an owner.

The law limits daily purchases to one or two packs of Sudafed and or other drugs – a supply that gets most customers through any bout of sneezing and wheezing.

“In most cases I’m limiting it to 24 tablets or less,” said James Kim, the owner of Center Pharmacy in Fort Lee. “If they come every day and buy that amount, they should be investigated.”

Local pharmacists, however, said they had never had customers scoop up dozens of boxes of cold medicine.

“Anyone who would buy more than a package would set off a red light with me anyway,” said David Teichman, owner of the Parkview Pharmacy in Teaneck.

Byung Lee, a pharmacist at Rodeo Pharmacy in Palisades Park said that some griped when she asked them to sign a log, just as customers are required to do for prescription drugs.

“They do understand but they think it’s kind of a pain when we’re busy,” she said.

As customers find themselves wandering the stores looking for their cold medicines or complaining about being asked for identification, some pharmacists are wondering if it’s worth it to continue carrying these products.

The law is prompting some manufacturers in the lucrative cold and allergy market to provide alternatives that won’t face the same restrictions, some of which have already reached drug store shelves in North Jersey.

Many products contain new formulas with the ingredient phenylephrine, which also acts as a nasal decongestant, yet is not restricted.

POSSIBLE IRRITANT

Can’t find your favorite allergy medicine on the store shelf? Blame the Patriot Act. It may be better known for taking on terrorists, but it also takes aim at drug dealers.

It requires pharmacists to restrict customer access to common cold and allergy medicines that contain the ingredient pseudoephedrine, which can be used to make methamphetamine.

Limits customers to purchasing 300, 30-mg pills in a month or 120 such pills in a day.

Beginning in September, all stores will require identification and ask you to sign a log whenever you buy one of these products.

http://www.bergenrecord.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2MDYmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTY5MzY3NDEmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXky

Explain to me how this is an invasion of privacy issue?

First off–it’s not new. We’ve been doing it for months now. The purpose is to control mass purchases by would be drug makers.

Is your spin that the gov’t will then collect these names to find out (x) information.

Nothing here Irish

[quote]sasquatch wrote:
Explain to me how this is an invasion of privacy issue?

First off–it’s not new. We’ve been doing it for months now. The purpose is to control mass purchases by would be drug makers.

Is your spin that the gov’t will then collect these names to find out (x) information.

Nothing here Irish[/quote]

Of course it is, and of course they will.

Why do I have to show an ID to buy cold medicine? Ridiculous.

[quote]sasquatch wrote:
Explain to me how this is an invasion of privacy issue?

First off–it’s not new. We’ve been doing it for months now. The purpose is to control mass purchases by would be drug makers.

Is your spin that the gov’t will then collect these names to find out (x) information.

Nothing here Irish[/quote]

I wonder what this law is really going to affect…

who is going to benefit from this law being passed?

  1. it’s going to have very little impact of meth production (producers will always find a way if their is a consumer market)…

  2. is it really the government’s business to monitor what legal OTC medications the public is purchasing?

I would bet this is going to be nothing more than another law that makes the law makers look like they are ‘tough on drugs’, but has very little real impact…

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
sasquatch wrote:
Explain to me how this is an invasion of privacy issue?

First off–it’s not new. We’ve been doing it for months now. The purpose is to control mass purchases by would be drug makers.

Is your spin that the gov’t will then collect these names to find out (x) information.

Nothing here Irish

Of course it is, and of course they will.

Why do I have to show an ID to buy cold medicine? Ridiculous.[/quote]

because what happens is some fuckign wanna be meth dealer litterally goes store to store and buys up all the pseudo, makes a meth in your neighborhood and then you have to pay millions of dollars in cleanup costs from all the chemicals left over along with treating the new meth heads in your area.

[quote]DPH wrote:
sasquatch wrote:
Explain to me how this is an invasion of privacy issue?

First off–it’s not new. We’ve been doing it for months now. The purpose is to control mass purchases by would be drug makers.

Is your spin that the gov’t will then collect these names to find out (x) information.

Nothing here Irish

I wonder what this law is really going to affect…

who is going to benefit from this law being passed?

  1. it’s going to have very little impact of meth production (producers will always find a way if their is a consumer market)…

  2. is it really the governments business to monitor what legal OTC medications the public is purchasing?

I would bet this is going to be nothing more than another law that makes the law makers look like they are ‘tough on drugs’, but has very little real impact…[/quote]

2 points.

  1. the law is having a marked impact on domestic meth production. There are numerous incidents of people being caught going store to store and buying the maximum amount of sudafed or whatever (usually 2 boxes)…do this long enough and it gets a little suspicious.
  2. To truly crack down on illicit meth production we need much stricter boarder measures. currently 85% of our meth comes from mexico wheres just a few years ago the majority was produced by bathtub labs all oevr the country out of cold medicines.

The law might be a little late in that taking effect since the turn from domestic to foreign production has already happend but it will certainly help, and could keep domestic production from increasing.

Thanks,
me.

[quote]biltritewave wrote:

  1. the law is having a marked impact on domestic meth production. There are numerous incidents of people being caught going store to store and buying the maximum amount of sudafed or whatever (usually 2 boxes)…do this long enough and it gets a little suspicious.
    [/quote]

this will, most likely, be a very temporary thing…

producers WILL find a way to make a product if there is a consumer base and large profits to be made…

to be effective, the U.S. would have to substantially increase it’s border patrol…this isn’t going to happen with most of the military troops overseas and a massive federal budgetary deficit…

it will help in the short term…long term help? probably not…

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:

Why do I have to show an ID to buy cold medicine? Ridiculous.[/quote]

I dunno – why do I have to show ID to buy wine?

The first time the local Safeway did this to me was a real pain in the ass. They had just started and no one really knew whether I had to go to the checkout or the pharm counter. The next time they had it worked out and I knew I just had to go to the pharm counter and sign for it.

I don’t have a real problem with it if it shuts down the meth labs, really. I don’t think I’m going to have DEA agents knocking on my door to ask about the 24ct package of 12 hour Sudafed I bought last fall. Having to sign for a 4oz bottle of liquid children’s Sudafed was a bit assinine, though.

I have seen far too many people runied by meth to take issue with this practice. My only complaint is that the associated law was tagged onto another bill, a practice becomming all too common as our congressional representatives are spending less and less time in session every year.

i think the manufacturers are also trying hard to stop this…there are a lot of new products coming out that are pseudo ephedrine free.

[quote]DPH wrote:
sasquatch wrote:
Explain to me how this is an invasion of privacy issue?

First off–it’s not new. We’ve been doing it for months now. The purpose is to control mass purchases by would be drug makers.

Is your spin that the gov’t will then collect these names to find out (x) information.

Nothing here Irish

I wonder what this law is really going to affect…

who is going to benefit from this law being passed?

  1. it’s going to have very little impact of meth production (producers will always find a way if their is a consumer market)…

  2. is it really the government’s business to monitor what legal OTC medications the public is purchasing?

I would bet this is going to be nothing more than another law that makes the law makers look like they are ‘tough on drugs’, but has very little real impact…[/quote]

I know the threads dead but I wanted to address this.

While I agree somewhat that the impact may be small as they will find other sources or other substances to priduce a similar drug, what would you suppose we do? Just throw are hands up and give in. Just say ‘oh something else will come along anyway’

And the gov’t is monitoring OTC medications like you imply. The goal, as you know, is to prevent mass purchases or possibly link purchases to make a case. This is not some big brother thing.

And if brit? is correct and the effect is already being felt, then I guess it was worthn the extra 5 minutes at the counter.

[quote]sasquatch wrote:
While I agree somewhat that the impact may be small as they will find other sources or other substances to priduce a similar drug, what would you suppose we do? Just throw are hands up and give in. Just say ‘oh something else will come along anyway’
[/quote]

every attempt at stopping drug trafficing by going after suppliers has failed in the long run…what’s the old quote - “insanity is doing same thing again and again and expecting different results”…prohibition has failed miserably…

the only way it’s going to stop is if the market dries up (i.e. people no longer want the product)…

not saying I know a fool-proof method to make this happen (possibly through education?)…maybe a heavy socially unacceptable stigmata could drop usage to a minimum? again, it’ll take someone significantly more intelligent than I am to figure out the best plan of action…

not saying it’s a big brother thing, simply that it will only be effective in the short term…

if there is a market and sizable profit to be made, suppliers WILL find a way to get their product to market…

have you any idea how easy it is to obtain coke, pot, AAS, etc.? if a market for meth exists, it WILL be produced and sold…

[quote]
And if brit? is correct and the effect is already being felt, then I guess it was worthn the extra 5 minutes at the counter.[/quote]

I think, ultimately, that the law is there to make politicians look ‘tough of drugs’…

P.S. I’m not trying to say that meth is a good thing for society…just being realistic…

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
sasquatch wrote:
Explain to me how this is an invasion of privacy issue?

First off–it’s not new. We’ve been doing it for months now. The purpose is to control mass purchases by would be drug makers.

Is your spin that the gov’t will then collect these names to find out (x) information.

Nothing here Irish

Of course it is, and of course they will.

Why do I have to show an ID to buy cold medicine? Ridiculous.[/quote]

So you don’t buy 1000 pills, make illegal drugs, get into a car, and mow a family down on the street when you are wacked on drugs – that’s why?

Why do we need a prescription to purchase medications? Is this an “invasion of privacy?”

Stop with your “us against them” mentality of citizens and the government.

You really hate America, don’t you?

[quote]steveo5801 wrote:
Stop with your “us against them” mentality of citizens and the government.

You really hate America, don’t you?
[/quote]

“Us vs. Them” can be very healthy when dealing with the government.

Assuming we know who “we” are.

You already get id’d for cigs, alcohol, spraypaint, inhalants (like model glue), and I’m sure some other stuff I’m leaving out.

One the one hand, this irritates me because it has nothing to with protecting the U.S. and had no business being in the Patriot Act. Meth sucks but it’s white-trash that’s cooking it, not Al Queda.

On the other hand, it’s such a little thing to get pissed over and no invasion of privacy is being invaded.

They could have just been bastards and banned it all together.

btw, i dont know who said this si part of the patriot act but if it is, it is only because it was a consensus piece of legislation and it probably got added in to gain an extra vote, not because it has anything to do with terrorism. My understanding however was that this was in effect well before the renewal of the patriot act, at least in the state i work for, although i am not sure if that was state law or federal.

[quote]steveo5801 wrote:
FightinIrish26 wrote:
sasquatch wrote:
Explain to me how this is an invasion of privacy issue?

First off–it’s not new. We’ve been doing it for months now. The purpose is to control mass purchases by would be drug makers.

Is your spin that the gov’t will then collect these names to find out (x) information.

Nothing here Irish

Of course it is, and of course they will.

Why do I have to show an ID to buy cold medicine? Ridiculous.

So you don’t buy 1000 pills, make illegal drugs, get into a car, and mow a family down on the street when you are wacked on drugs – that’s why?

Why do we need a prescription to purchase medications? Is this an “invasion of privacy?”

Stop with your “us against them” mentality of citizens and the government.

You really hate America, don’t you?

[/quote]

It is always “Us against them”. They need to be stopped from overeaching their bounds.

It’s not my fault if a horse’s ass like you doesn’t get that.

And, yes, of course, this is all about hating America. Idiot.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
steveo5801 wrote:
FightinIrish26 wrote:
sasquatch wrote:
Explain to me how this is an invasion of privacy issue?

First off–it’s not new. We’ve been doing it for months now. The purpose is to control mass purchases by would be drug makers.

Is your spin that the gov’t will then collect these names to find out (x) information.

Nothing here Irish

Of course it is, and of course they will.

Why do I have to show an ID to buy cold medicine? Ridiculous.

So you don’t buy 1000 pills, make illegal drugs, get into a car, and mow a family down on the street when you are wacked on drugs – that’s why?

Why do we need a prescription to purchase medications? Is this an “invasion of privacy?”

Stop with your “us against them” mentality of citizens and the government.

You really hate America, don’t you?

It is always “Us against them”. They need to be stopped from overeaching their bounds.

It’s not my fault if a horse’s ass like you doesn’t get that.

And, yes, of course, this is all about hating America. Idiot.[/quote]

No, it’s always “Blame America First.”

BTW, what part of a horse are you?

[quote]biltritewave wrote:

because what happens is some fuckign wanna be meth dealer litterally goes store to store and buys up all the pseudo, makes a meth in your neighborhood and then you have to pay millions of dollars in cleanup costs from all the chemicals left over along with treating the new meth heads in your area.[/quote]

Based on that logic we should need to show ID to buy fertilizer because it can be used to make bombs, we should have to show ID to buy knives because they can be used to kill…
Im sorry but anyone who puts out the energy to produce meth can find ephedrine if they really need it. If I can find pure ephedrine then Im sure the owner of a meth lab can do it as well. This law is not going to crack down on Meth production. Allso wouldn’t it take ALOT of ephedrine to produce any quantity of METH. Don’t you thinks alarms will be sounding if someone walks into a store and buys 300 boxes of cold medicine??? Obviously it takes more than a couple boxes to make any quantity of METH.
What if I have no ID?? Does that mean I shouldn’t be able to buy cold medicine. Why not just ID people for everything we buy that way the government can keep track and make sure we are breaking no laws, that would be the safest method (if we were living in Communist USSR).