Mississippi lawmakers passed a bill that allows residents to buy medicines like Sudafed and Claritin-D that contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine without a prescription.
If signed by Gov. Tate Reeves, the law would go into effect on January 1, 2022.
Mississippi is currently one of only two states still requiring a prescription for medicines containing pseudoephedrine. The Legislature passed a bill adding the prescription requirement in 2010.
One of the main factors in federal and state-level restrictions on the sale of both ephedrine and pseudoephedrine is their use for the manufacture of methamphetamine. Their use is less prevalent in that process now than they were when restrictions like this were introduced, as alternatives have become cheaper and more widely available.
Ephedrine is also banned by the NCAA, MLB, NFL, and PGA as a performance enhancing drug.
Though the bill would somewhat open up the sale of these substances in Mississippi, it still comes with substantive regulations. A person purchasing a medication containing these substances without a prescription has to be at least eighteen years old, sign a record for each purchase and provide a copy of their Mississippi ID.
Pharmacies selling products authorized under the bill also have to use the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEX) system, which tracks the sale of both substances in the United States, for each purchase.
The bill also prevents “pharmacy hopping” to stockpile these stimulants by limiting an individual’s purchase of medications containing them to 3.6 grams in one day and 7.2 grams per month.