Editor, Times-Union:
In the recent front page discussion by the Times-Union regarding the methamphetamine problem in Indiana (in which it was hard to tell where the editorializing stopped and the reporting began), one issue that was never discussed was access to care.
Doctors have the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else, and if the law is passed requiring a prescription for cold and allergy remedies, doctors will be spending more time with patients with the sniffles and less time with patients with more serious illnesses. Is that really what we want our legislators to do? When faced with a problem legislators should resist the urge to “do something.” Sometimes legislation has negative unintended consequences.
In Oregon as a result of their anti-methamphetamine law, there has been a shift from local labs to meth being supplied by Mexican drug cartels. The Cascade Policy Institute looked at meth trends in Oregon from 2004 to 2010 and compared that with other states and the rest of the country. They found that while lab activity was down, it was not a result of the legislation. The study showed that six nearby states that didn't have a prescription requirement also experienced a decline in meth lab activity. Also, most of Oregon’s drop in meth lab activity took place between 2004 and 2006, before the prescription requirement law went into effect.
Hopefully, Rep. Kubacki will not be in the legislature to propose this law again.
Christopher Magiera, M.D.
Warsaw, via e-mail