Branson leaders will decide if they'll follow in the footsteps of Hollister officials by requiring a prescription for medications that contain meth making ingredients.
The Branson mayor and board of alderman heard the pros and cons from those who support and oppose the regulation of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine with a prescription.
At the new Family Pharmacy location on Highway 248 in Branson, customers won't find pseudoephedrine or ephedrine on the shelves. “Right now we are waiting to hear what the city of Branson does before we bring in the software and our products,” pharmacist Billy Taylor said.
Because the city of Hollister passed an ordinance requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine and ephedrine purchases, Family Pharmacy’s location in that city is adapting. “We have a lot of doctors in the area that are writing for it,” Taylor said. “I think a lot of the patients that genuinely needed it are getting but they have to go to the doctor for it.”
Whether or not Branson leaders make the same decision is up for debate. On Thursday a speaker in support and another opposed made their recommendations. “I've seen the debate in Washington and in Union Missouri that this would flood the ER's and doctor’s offices and they did not see that,” supporter and pharmacist Mike Morton said. “One large retailer in Branson elected to take it off their shelves because of fighting in line when they were running out of the product. It’s getting more violent.” Morton says the state of Oregon required a prescription and meth lab numbers dropped from a high of 400 to a low of ten.
A representative for Consumer Healthcare Products Association, Jim Gwinner, opposes an ordinance requiring a prescription. He says it will cause criminals to find a new method and cost law abiding users time and money. Gwinner says opposition includes more than members of the pharmaceutical industry. “That includes the Missouri Pharmacy Association, the Missouri Grocers Association, the Retailers Association, and the Associated Industries of Missouri and the Asthma and Allergy Federation of America’s St. Louis chapter.”
For now customers from nearby Hollister are heading to Branson to buy medication without a prescription. City leaders will vote to decide if that will change. The public will get a chance to give input at the regularly scheduled Branson Board of Alderman meeting at Branson City Hall at 7:00 p.m. on November 7th.
Hollister leaders passed an ordinance requiring a prescription in September. Pseudoephedrine is an ingredient found in products used to treat colds and allergies.