mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Drug buying...

I tried to buy some drugs on Friday, but alas, my criminal behavior was caught and I was not able to score any.

No, I wasn't trying to buy crack, or weed, or anything else that's sold in plastic bags by guys on street corners of Baltimore's less-fine neighborhoods. I was trying to buy Allegra-D at Target, but evidently I'd bought too much this month and was shut down after they scanned my license.

Allegra D contains pseudophedrine, which can be used to make meth, in addition to making it so madanthony can breathe. It used to be prescription, so I wasn't even aware of this until about 2 months ago, when it became over the counter. Which not only meant that it was costing me more out of pocket, because instead of just a copay with my insurance picking up the rest, I'm paying the full dollar-plus per pill. Worse, though, is that instead of the 90-day supply I had before, I'm forced to go to the pharmacy pretty much weekly to pick up a 10 pack. It's kind of a pain, because I usually am at the gym until close to 8pm, and the pharmacy at Target closes at 9pm, so I'm cutting it pretty close. As a result, I generally try to pick up a package anytime I'm there and the pharmacy is open. Including Friday - I had the day off (yeah working in higher ed and it's generous 4-day Memorial Day weekend) and tried to buy a package, only to have the machine beep when they scanned my license and print out a receipt saying that I'd tried to purchase too many of a restricted item.

The most frustrating thing about it is that neither of the employees at the pharmacy could tell me what the legal limit was, or when I'd last purchased it, or when I could purchase it again - one person thought it was every 7 days, another thought it was every 10. It turns out they were - it's not a weekly limit, but a 30 day limit of what works out to 3 packages of Allegra D every 30 days.

A while back, Megan McCardle had a pretty interesting look at the cost-benefits of psudoephedrine bans - which I didn't think much of at the time because my Allegra was still by prescription. But now that I basically have to jump through hoops to get a legal, effective drug for an actual medical condition, just because it can be used to make an illegal drug. I don't like that the government is storing my license data for 2 years, that the law is being enforced by retailers whose employees don't even know what the law is, that I'm being treated like a criminal for having a stuffy nose or fluid-filled ears. It seems absurd to me that I can buy enough rotgut vodka to drink myself into a coma, and maybe I'll have to show an ID if the clerk is unusually cautious, but I can't buy allergy medicine without joining a government database.

This is truly government as big brother at it's most absurd - in order to prevent harm to a hypothetical third-party that might misuse a perfectly legal product, I pretty much have to rearrange my schedule and make 37 trips a year to a pharmacy counter to buy a legal drug, one that I was at one point prescribed by a doctor, for a stuffy nose.

If any politician made repealing the Combat Methamphetamine Act of 2005 a platform of their campaign, I guarantee that would capture the allergy-sufferer vote. And that's nothing to sneeze at.


At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But supply-side intervention has served us so well over the past 40 years. That and arresting everyone in sight.

At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree, it is WAY TOO MUCH gov't interference and by people who are seem all too often to focus on issues based on the perception given to the public from the media versus the real issues that could make a true difference. It reminds me of having to get strong pain meds prior to and following surgery. I had all the tests confirming what was wrong and obvious painful, the can't get out of bed or even sleep when in bed type of pain, and even went to a "pain" specialist. Due to me being younger than the average person with back issues such as mine, i had several doctors basically tell me they just wldnt prescribe me what i needed due to my age and some go as far as to say that the gov't is watching things such as oxycontin, which occurred after all the media attention and a couple famous ppl were headlined for "abusing" it. While it can be abused, like just about anything else, the crazy thing is that so many people who are so against it do not realize they prob. have or even do at times take the same medication just not in the time released form but since the media portrayed it as just so horrible they believe it and are dead set against it.. I mean really, it makes me sick, we can sell alcohol that cause 10s of thousands deadly car accidents annually in the U.S., no telling how many violent crimes of all natures from basic assault to even murder, and numerous other things but it is regulated as to how much cold/allergy medicine we can buy that contains an ingredient that has been used in the production of a drug? Really?? I mean do we need to limit how many matches, flares, etc we can buy/sell b/c they contain an ingredient? Or what about limiting the sale of numerous items that contain one of many ingredients/items used in the making of AND also the items used to or to make items to consume the drug(s).. Next year will we be limited to one roll of aluminum foil per week? Why not focus on something with a direct impact OR atleast something that will really make a difference??

At 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

go get a scrip that says 10 refills from a family/IM doc or urgent care. The visit may cost 15-30 if you have insurance, and now you have a year supply. boom. OTC made for occasional users.

At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in the same boat! A business professional who lives in the South...with all of the farmland pollen. I have to have this stuff to live, but the meth heads have certainly made this difficult. I do not like walking into the pharmacy to buy something OTC only to feel like I am playing the lotto. I have even had one pharmacy in Florida tell me that they had sold their quota for the day...they sent me to another pharmacy with what I needed sitting on their shelf. My advice--go spend the co-pay and get a prescription for it. Problem solved. It is ridiculous!

At 4:32 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Excellent blog very nice and unique information related to Allegra. Thanks for sharing this information.

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say screw the government.. They r so full of shit. Thts what America is coming to. Being dictated by CPs,gov, or Obama on how we r gonna live our own lives. It's pure bullshit. So what if u can make meth with this. The only people tht use it r the ones who want to get high. They talk about legalizing marijuana,tht shot will make u stupid. Alcohol behind the wheel of a car kills more lives than any other drug in the world. The damn government needs to get their shit together & stop blaming things they can't control.

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Omg! I just had the same problem yesterday and both of my children who suffer terribly this time of year can't have any relief and besides that my husband also takes Allegra D but doesn't need it as badly as my kids! Both of our licenses are over the legal limit to buy Allegra D. I was so frustrated because I have 3 people in my house using it and I can't even buy it. The gov't is so worried about teens or anyone for that matter, making meth, why don't they limit the purchasing of alcohol, noooo large sugary drinks are far more dangerous!!!!!!

At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come to Kentucky - where I am a pharmacist and you will see the repercussions of meth and the prevelance of smurf buyers.

At 2:48 PM, Anonymous R Johnson said...

While there are many people who are abusing the systems in place in order to feed their addictions, it is sad that you have to pay the price for your legitimate need. Unfortunately there is a need to monitor both prescription drug use and over-the-counter medications.


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