Recently proposed new legislation was reported upo in the media which would ban the sale of products, containing pseudo-ephedrine. Getting products like that would require a prescription. A total ban on these products is also investigated. According to the report by Leighton Keith for the Taranaki Daily News this is to be understood as part of the Government getting tough on the methamphetamine drugs trade and the organised gangs that control it.

Pharmacies were apparently glad to have the products of the shelf and were even considering removing the products all together prior to the ban. I have seen the arguments as to how alternatives for the medicines/drugs involved are said to be equally effective. That may all well be true, but who is the Government actually tough on?

Personally I have ha a preference in the past for instance for Sudafed for my cough when I had a cold. But that would now become a subscription drug. I don’t mind giving out my personal details to get it; I understand that some control is required. But banning it all together because of organised crime? That seems like a bit strange to me. It is like telling my wife that she can no longer buy let’s say bleach or ammonia because it can be used in the process of making drugs. Yes I believe we have a serious problem when it comes to P, the manufacturing and distribution thereof. But at the same time  can’t help but feeling that this shift is nothing more than patchwork. It is of course horrible that pharmacies get robbed but is making these products prescription only actually going to solve the real issue, is this really anything to do with getting tough, or is this a symbolic gesture to pharmacies that in the end does not solve anything? Will organised crime say “ok you win this is getting too difficult, we’ll stop producing the stuff.” I don’t think so, it will find other means to get the required pseudo-ephidrine, and probably more efficient ones as the purchase or theft of off the shelf drugs was probably the least efficient way to get the required quantities of pseudo-ephidrine anyway. It is the peanut stuff, let’s be honest about that.

Getting tough on organised crime by limiting the choices of people in how they live their normal lives seems odd. But then again, I have found medicines like Sudafed always to work better when I needed it. I’d be keen to hear you views.


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