The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is out with a new poll re-confirming what AAFA already learned from a previous study - confirming that patients nationwide strongly oppose proposed laws to change over-the-counter medications to prescription-only status.
Lawmakers in Tennessee were considering prescription-only legislation for medicines that contain pseudoephedrine or ephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in meth. The bill (proposed by Rep. David B. Hawk of Greenville, TN) that was being considered is not going anywhere for the time being.
Currently, you have to have show your driver’s license to purchase drugs that contain pseudoephedrine and evidently, showing your license to buy it is not enough to curb the growing meth problem. A bill to make these drugs prescription only or controlled substances was stalled this week in the General Assembly, but it could reemerge in the future. State Representative Mike Sparks (pictured) who lives in Smyrna told WGNS…
So far, no action has been taken on the controlled substance bill.
Summary for HB 0368/SB 0984
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America – Past Survey:
Survey results show that patients already face costs and burdens associated with treating their common symptoms.
o Two-thirds of patients (64%) say they are managing medications for 2 or more people in their household
o Patient households deal with allergy symptoms for more than 2 months per year (69.5 days on average)
o Only 1-in-five patients can get in to see their doctor the same day, with nearly one quarter (22%) having to wait more than a week to get an appointment
o Patients say that two in five (42%) of their visits to the doctor require time off of work, with one-third (31%) saying that their doctor visits always take place during their work hours
o When including drive time, waiting-room time and the visit itself, only 1-in-five patients surveyed spend less than an hour when visiting the doctor, with nearly one-third (30%) requiring 2 or more hours per visit; one-in-ten (9%) require 3 or more hours per visit
o The majority of patients surveyed (59%) spend at least $20 per doctor visit, plus 4-out-of-5 of them (82%) are also paying to fill prescriptions frequently or occasionally for themselves or family members
AAFA has posted more information online for the public and policymakers at www.aafa.org/pse so people can learn what to do in their own states to fight meth while also preserving access to OTC medications.
“Patients are really concerned about extreme local laws that limit their freedom to access meds,” says Collins, “a real problem in Tennessee, especially in Knoxville, Memphis and Chattanooga, where the allergy burden is among the nation’s worst. AAFA is working with patients nationwide to teach lawmakers about better solutions. We want to make sure that the patient voice is heard.”
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
State Representative Mike Sparks (Republican, Smyrna resident)
TN General Assembly HB 0368/SB 0984