I post a short item on cold medicines and methamphetamine, focus on my day job for a bit and wow, return to a sea of thoughtful comments and critique here at RBC and around the web. Well done everyone, and advance apologies that your comments warrant more thoughtful responses than I have time to give them.
I am going to though comment quickly about two things raised by Megan McArdle on her site.
(1) McArdle costs out the price of prescription-only PSE-containing cold medicines based on the incorrect assumption that cold/allergy sufferers would have to visit a health professional every single time they needed the medication. That would indeed be expensive, but that isn’t necessary for a low-scheduled drug. You would visit your doctor or nurse practitioner once and then when you had allergy flareups you would contact your health care provider, who would order a prescription refill for you by telephone or email. And note that because PSE-containing products can be dangerous you should at least once in your life consult a medical professional if you use them anyway.
(2) McArdle writes
Of course, Humphreys could fairly argue that the real point of his post is to critique the current, failed registration systems that have been implemented as an alternative to prescription-only….The logical implication of his complaint doesn’t seem to have occurred to him: if these systems don’t work, then they should be repealed. Full stop.
I don’t know why she felt the need to imply that I am too stupid to understand the intended implication of my own post. But putting aside the rudeness, yes, that is indeed the central point I was making. NPLEx doesn’t work at all and no one should waste time and money implementing it in their state. It adds inconvenience and cost and we would be better off if it didn’t exist, including but not limited to the fact that it’s a distraction in the obviously important debate about whether a prescription-only PSE law makes sense or not.