AR senate takes steps in the fight against drug abuse - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

AR senate takes steps in the fight against drug abuse

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (AKIT) - The Arkansas Senate recently approved a statewide prescription drug database, as well as new regulations on the purchase of certain cold medicines.

The database will help provide all pharmacists and health officials with one system. The system could help better track or detect drug abuse, which would help better inform law enforcement.

New regulations were also put in place for the distribution of certain cold medicines, like those containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, medicines that could be used to make methamphetamine. The regulations would only allow a pharmacist to sell the product, as well as require an Arkansas ID to purchase the medicines without a prescription.

Pharmacist Brandon Cooper with Soo's Drug Store anticipates the new restrictions to help in the fight against drugs.

"The pharmacist has to counsel with the person. So what it does is strengthen the pharmacist and patient relationship to ensure there is a medical need. That way, it won't be abused and get into the wrong hands," says Cooper.

Cooper adds, many times individuals use different forms of identification, from a hunter's registration licenses to a passport, to purchase cold medicines from several different drug stores. But, with the new regulations, and limiting individuals to a state ID, hopefully it will help prevent that from happening.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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