NEW POLL: Clear Majority of West Virginians Oppose Prescription-Only Requirements For Common Cold and Allergy Medications

Nov 19, 2013, 09:00 ET from The Consumer Healthcare Products Association

Poll data show consumers prefer alternative efforts punishing criminals, not law-abiding criminals

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) released the following statement today on a recent poll of West Virginia voters conducted by Mark Blankenship Enterprises and supported by CHPA.  The poll, which surveyed 604 West Virginia voters between November 9-12, found that West Virginia voters, by a 16-point margin (56 to 40 percent) oppose a proposed law that would require all consumers to obtain a doctor's prescription before buying safe and effective cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Similarly, a 65 percent majority said it would be somewhat or very inconvenient to obtain a prescription for those popular medicines. Alternatively, an overwhelming majority of West Virginians (80 percent) support a separate proposal that bans criminals from purchasing pseudoephedrine without a prescription for 10 years after being convicted of a drug-related crime. 

"The West Virginia findings are consistent with what we've seen across the country," said Scott Melville, president and chief executive officer of CHPA.  "The clear majority of law-abiding consumers oppose the prescription-only approach because it leads to significant economic burdens produced by unnecessary time off work and additional copays.  Moreover, consumers understand that such restrictions are not an effective solution to address West Virginia's meth problem.  Penalizing honest consumers for the crimes of a criminal minority will not solve the state's problems.  If state officials are looking for effective solutions to combat the illegal sale of pseudoephedrine, they need to implement balanced policies that penalize criminals, not law-abiding citizens."

Key findings from the poll (Courtesy of Mark Blankenship Enterprises)

  • By a large margin of 56%-40%, West Virginians oppose a proposal to require everyone who wants to buy decongestant cold or allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine to first get a prescription from a doctor.   
  • A significant majority (65%-32%) say that it would be somewhat or very inconvenient for them or a family member to have to obtain a doctor's prescription in order to purchase nonprescription cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine. 
  • An overwhelming majority of West Virginia voters (80%) support alternative legislation that would punish lawbreakers instead of law-abiding consumers by preventing drug criminals from purchasing medicine containing pseudoephedrine for 10 years.
  • Among the nearly nine out of ten West Virginians who have read, seen or heard "quite a bit" (70%) or "some" (16%) about meth labs and meth use in West Virginia, 56% oppose Rx legislation while only 40% support it.

CHPA is the 132-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.

SOURCE The Consumer Healthcare Products Association