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Sudafed Rules Out Soon
Just in time for cold season

A little known fact to most: A bill does not necessarily become effective as it’s written. The state agency tasked with the rulemaking for a bill, actually writes how the bill will be implemented.

In this case the agency is the Board of Pharmacy. November 23rd is the date that the Board meets to finalize the language for this new statute. It is online, so one can attend virtually.

Representative Bill Post (R-Keizer) has given an update on the bill.

"As you most likely know by now, since I was first elected to the Oregon Legislature in 2015, one of my passions has been to remove the prescription requirement to purchase pseudoephedrine (pse or sudafed type products)", said Representative Post, "Behind the counter with a photo ID as is the case in over 40 states in the US. As you may also know, finally in 2021, we were able to pass HB 2648 and the behind the counter sales starting January 1, 2022. BUT as always, nothing is easy in Oregon."

As you can see from the summary on the front page of the bill, the purchase involves gathering information to make sure that the buyer isn’t “over purchasing” pse products.

“Requires pharmacist or pharmacy technician, prior to transfer, to submit specified information into electronic system designed to prevent illegal transfer of drugs containing pseudoephedrine. Requires pharmacist or pharmacy technician to record specified information about transfer of drug containing pseudoephedrine. Specifies maximum amount of pseudoephedrine that person may receive without prescription.”

The idea is that the pharmacist or tech would “swipe” your driver’s license or other appropriate photo ID and get your name and address to make sure that you are not purchasing more pse than allowed by law. This was to discourage “smurfing” where meth manufacturers send people out to buy sudafed products to make meth.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

"We addressed this in testimony before the committees in both the House and Senate and in debate on the House floor." Representative Post continued, "We made it clear that Oregon would be joining at least 40 other states in the nPLEX electronic tracking system."

You can read the testimony from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which is the company that operates nPLEX here.

"We made it very clear in testimony that we would be joining the nPLEX system." Post continued, "I begged the drafter of the language to include that, as Mississippi did in their bill that passed earlier this year, but was told that Oregon law prohibits using “brand names” in a bill. Sigh. As you can see, it’s a very simple system to implement. It’s quite efficient, I’ve used it myself in many other states. Here was my testimony in the House Health Care Committee. The problem is that we did not apparently look at ALL of the laws in Oregon. You see, when the Legislature passes 500-800 new laws every other year, there are a lot of laws to watch out for. It was brought to my attention by a representative of a large chain pharmacy that we cannot “swipe” the ID’s in Oregon because of ORS 807.750 Now I believe that the original drafter of the bill, the Legislative Counsel writer, should have caught this. Still, I am the chief sponsor of the bill and I should have done a deeper dive into the laws. So what does this mean for Sudafed on January 1st?"

The law will go into effect and you will be able to purchase without a prescription but, the larger chain pharmacies may not want to allow this if it means entering the information manually which can take up to 3 minutes. With the shortage of pharmacists and techs, this seems to present a problem. A “new exemption in ORS 807.750 must be added that allows swiping drivers licenses / ID cards and the sharing of that data (with NPLEX) within the guidelines established in HB 2648” as a bill to amend that statute.

Since Representative Post only has until the end of November left as State Representative and won’t be in office when the short session of 2022 takes place, he is having a draft written that he hopes his successor or another legislator will drop as a bill in 2022 and make it retroactive to January 1.


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-11-15 18:25:20Last Update: 2021-11-15 18:51:07



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