I am so happy I found it finally!
For years I have been saying that prescription laws for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine were not a solution to the meth scourge, based on what I call “intuition and a sharp mind” and what my wife calls “common sense with a bit of arrogance” 🙂
- The most important point for me is that such laws would be ineffective and unfair:
Do you really believe that laws can stop drugs? Seriously? It is quite funny to think that people who already break the law by selling or buying illicit substances would suddenly stop because of a new law…
- Of course I understand that local cops would like to get rid of the dirty part of their job, cleaning up meth labs, but in that case why don’t they just support meth-proof pseudoephedrine? You can be sure of one thing on this planet: if there is market and money to be made, there will be somebody somewhere willing to sell to these people. So be sure that drug addicts will get their stuff anyway, probably from Mexico. The good news for local cops is that less meth will be cooked in the country and thus it will lower the risk for them.
- I have been discussing this matter with so many people, healthcare providers, journalists, patients, it’s amazing how unpopular this prescription law would be. People are not stupid.
So to come back to the point, why am I so happy? Because I had the feeling since years that we were lacking figures in that raging debate. Did you notice that opponents and proponents were usually trying to convince people by using high emotional triggers such as family, kids, home, life, sometimes even religious arguments?
I Prefer Facts and Figures
It’s finally the case today: a team of independent, distinguished and reputable professors of economics have conducted a study in Indiana about the costs and benefits of classifying OTC cold medications based on pseudoephedrine as prescription drugs only. Here is a link to this study published by Michael Hicks and his colleagues.
By the way, Michael Hicks is the George and Frances Ball distinguished professor of economics and the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University. I guess nobody, even cops, will question his expertise 🙂
What Are The Major Points?
1) Prescription laws don’t solve the meth problem. Studies of the experience of Oregon where pseudoephedrine became Rx in 2006 and Mississippi (Rx law in 2010) both have very clear results: “These laws had no impact on meth use in either state”.
2) The annual cost of such law in Indiana would be more than $90 million, mainly supported by law abiding citizen and businesses — quite expensive for a law that proved to be totally ineffective!
Knowing the figures, who would still argue that Rx prescription laws are a good idea and should be voted? Probably the same people not very happy to see these figures finally made public 😉
It’s hard to convince millions of people that they will lose millions of dollars because of a stupid law that solves nothing. Local cops will probably argue back, saying that these figures are not reliable and they will accentuate their lobbying 🙂
And you know what? Many politicians don’t care about figures, as they don’t really care about your health and the financial burden they put on you. As long as they keep their job! And the best way for that is typically to hide evidence (based on hard facts and figures) and to manipulate people (through emotions and values).
OK, I recognize that I am generalizing here, all politicians are not like that. But to be fair, and with all respect to our politicians, I prefer Michael Hicks’ figures to any persuasive speech. Because figures don’t lie.