Manchin backs prescription-only cold medicine to stem meth

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is calling on state lawmakers to make certain cold medicines used to create methamphetamine available by prescription only.

In a letter Thursday, the Democrat asked the Republican-led Legislature to limit pseudoephedrine sales to people with prescriptions. It would apply to cold medicines like Sudafed.

Manchin pointed to successes Oregon and Mississippi, where the medicine is prescription-only.

Previously, Republicans have not been favorable to the change. The pharmaceutical industry has been a staunch opponent, saying the change would limit law-abiding citizens' choices.

Under Democratic leadership last year, the prescription-only bill was watered down and eventually did not pass at all.

Manchin also wants monthly pseudoephedrine sales limited to 3.6 grams and annual sales capped at 24 grams. Currently, the yearly cap is 48 grams.

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