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Panel OKs stricter limits on cold, sinus meds

INDIANAPOLIS – A Senate panel voted unanimously Tuesday to further restrict the amount of cold medicine consumers can buy.

Senate Bill 496 aims to limit access to ephedrine and pseudoephedrine – primary ingredients in the making of methamphetamine.

It does not require a prescription to buy the products but does institute an annual limit on the amount a person can purchase. This is on top of a pre-existing monthly limit in state law.

Each time a person buys the medicine, it is input into a real-time online system to track the purchases.

Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, said he thinks consumers with seasonal allergies and occasional cold and sinus infections will still be able to buy the medicine they need.

Right now the monthly limit is 7.2 grams. Yoder’s bill also institutes an annual limit of eight months’ worth of the medicine – or about 57 grams.

He equated that to one pill a day. Yoder said if a person needs more than that they should be under the care of a doctor and can get a prescription.

The legislation now moves to the full Senate for consideration.