While Kentucky lawmakers discuss limiting access to medicine containing pseudoephedrine, an official at Jennie Stuart Medical Center fears restrictions may lead to overcrowded doctors’ offices.

Three bills pertaining to pseudoephedrine have been introduced to the Kentucky General Assembly. House Bill 80,

co-authored by Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, and Rep. Myron Dossett, R-Pembroke, would prohibit anyone convicted of a methamphetamine-related crime from purchasing pseudoephedrine without a prescription. The bill is under discussion with the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville.

The other two bills would prohibit anyone from purchasing pseudoephedrine without a prescription. The bills would allow the drug to still be purchased in gel cap form, as it is more difficult to make methamphetamine with gel caps than it is with tablets.

Pseudoephedrine is found in many over-the-counter medications for treating colds and sinus problems. James Goss, Jennie Stuart’s director of marketing and community relations, said a new law wouldn’t affect the hospital’s treatment methods, but he fears it could inconvenience patients.

“On its face, the bill seems well intended to protect the health and well being of the community,” Goss said. “We are sympathetic to the pocketbook and convenience issues of our patients.”

The hospital opened a physician practice, Bluegrass M.D., in September with Fairview Physicians Network. Goss said the facility, which has four physicians on staff, has been extremely popular and has reported a large volume of patients. He fears pseudoephedrine restrictions might lead to a larger influx of patients.

“It could lead to some overcrowding of primary care facilities that are already overcrowded,” Goss said.

Reach Dennis O’Neil at 270-887-3237 or doneil@kentuckynewera.com.

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