Tennessee Expands Access to OTC Cold & Allergy Medications Containing PSE

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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) released the below statement today following Tennessee Governor Bill Lee's recent signing of Senate Bill 2048 into law, legislation that raises the monthly purchase limit for common over-the-counter (OTC) cold and allergy medications containing the ingredient pseudoephedrine (PSE) from 5.76 grams per month to 7.2 grams, allowing access to a full 30-day supply per month. The bill also raises the annual purchase limit to 43.2 grams, which is a 40% increase from the current limit of 28.8 grams. "Tennessee’s strict limit on access to OTC cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine – the most restrictive in the nation – has severely burdened law-abiding citizens who need relief from cold and allergy symptoms," said CHPA’s Vice President of State & Local Government Affairs Carlos Gutiérrez. “By allowing Tennesseans to purchase a full 30-day supply of these medications per month,  this bill strikes the right balance between preventing the illegal diversion of these medications and ensuring access to necessary care, which will greatly improve consumers’ ability to effectively manage their symptoms without a doctor’s prescription. CHPA applauds Governor Lee for recognizing the importance of this issue and swiftly signing this bill into law, and thanks Senator Stevens and Representative Farmer for their tireless efforts to enhance the quality of life for countless allergy sufferers across the Volunteer State." “Tennessee is taking a significant step forward in our fight against the illegal production of methamphetamine while simultaneously prioritizing the health and well-being of our law-abiding citizens,” said Tennessee State Sen. John Stevens. “We recognize that many Tennesseans rely on pseudoephedrine containing medicines for much-needed relief from cold and allergy symptoms. This groundbreaking legislation strikes a crucial balance between public safety and consumer access. By implementing thoughtful changes to current law, we are empowering consumers with increased flexibility to purchase these essential medicines when they need them most, without unnecessary restrictions. This pro-consumer solution is a testament to our commitment to the people of Tennessee.” "The signing of this bill marks a significant victory for the health and well-being of Tennesseans," said Tennessee State Rep. Andrew Farmer. "We have passed legislation that strikes a delicate balance between protecting our communities from the illegal diversion of pseudoephedrine and ensuring that our hardworking citizens have better access to the cold and allergy medications they rely on. "This bill is the result of careful consideration and collaboration with my colleagues in the House and Senate,” Rep. Farmer emphasized. “We have listened to the concerns of law enforcement, healthcare professionals, and everyday Tennesseans to craft a solution that promotes public safety while empowering individuals to manage their health effectively. I am proud to have championed this legislation alongside my esteemed colleagues and am grateful for Governor Lee's support in signing it into law. This is a win for all Tennesseans, and I am confident that our state will see the positive impact of this common-sense approach in the years to come." Background:SB 2048 was introduced in the Tennessee Senate by Sen. John Stevens on January 25. This legislation will increase the gram limit for OTC products containing pseudoephedrine that an individual may purchase in a 30-day period, from 5.76 grams to 7.2 grams, and raises the annual purchase limit to 43.2 grams from the law’s current limit of 28.8 grams. Companion legislation, HB 1825, was introduced in the House by Rep. Andrew Farmer.Thirty-eight states across the nation, including Tennessee, currently mandate the use of the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) system, which is a real-time, stop-sale technology used by retailers and law enforcement to prevent the illegal sale of PSE to criminals who try to use it in the production of methamphetamine. In 2023, the NPLEx system successfully blocked the illegal sale of nearly 2 million boxes of medicines containing PSE, preventing more than 5 million grams of PSE from getting into the hands of potential criminals. CHPA has been instrumental in advocating for the extension of the NPLEx system in multiple states and takes the diversion of its members' medicines very seriously. CHPA will continue working with elected officials to ensure states have the necessary tools to combat illegal sales of PSE, while also ensuring law-abiding citizens who depend on these medicines have continued access. 

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Educational Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to make smart self-care decisions by providing information and guidance on how to safely use, store, and dispose of OTC medicines and dietary supplements. Its mission is to serve as the trusted source of information on the responsible use of consumer healthcare products. Visit chpa.org/Foundation or HealthInHand.org for more information.