New Bill Would Require Surveillance in Pharmacies

Louisiana state Senator James David Cain is pushing for adoption of Senate Bill 24, which would help to control access to the common cold and sinus medications used in the illicit production of crystal meth.

Cain's bill recently was given support by the Judiciary C Committee and will be moving onto the Louisiana Senate for consideration.

The bill's primary objective is to limit how much ephedrine and pseudoephedrine (common in cold/sinus medications) that can be on display in a pharmacy. It would also limit the number of packs a consumer could purchase, and would require that the area where those cold and sinus medications are available to be in a "line of sight" of the pharmacist. The bill would also require that pharmacies use a surveillance camera pointed at the cold/sinus medications area to record for 15 days. The bill gives an option around the camera footage, in which case the pharmacist would need to get ID from the buyer, have the person sign a form, and record the name of the consumer and their age and how much they purchased.

A similar bill was recently passed by Hawaii legislature. That law would limit purchases to three packages and would require that cold medicines be kept in a position viewable by a pharmacist or sales clear, or a surveillance camera.