By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Senate gave final passage Friday to a bill that would further limit the amount of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine that consumers could buy without a prescription.
Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient used in making methamphetamine, a major problem in the state.
Senate Bill 3, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, now goes to Gov. Steve Beshear for his signature or veto.
The Senate voted 29-8 Friday in concurring with changes the House made to the bill.
SB 3 would require Kentuckians to get a doctor’s prescription to buy more than 7.2 grams of pseudoephedrine a month and 24 grams a year. A generic box of pseudoephedrine with 48 pills, each with a 30-milligram dosage, contains 1.44 grams of the medicine.
The bill’s sponsors had wanted lower limits, but they compromised with opponents who worried about inconveniencing cold and allergy sufferers.
The pharmaceutical industry has lobbied aggressively against the state requiring prescriptions for pseudoephedrine at any level.
Gel caps and liquid pseudoephedrine would be excluded from the limits in SB 3 because making meth from those forms is considered more difficult.