VIENNA - Delegate Tom Azinger, R-Wood, will appear before the Vienna City Council at 7 p.m. Thursday to speak about a resolution to support legislation requiring a prescription to purchase medication containing pseudoephedrine.
Pseudoephedrine is a medication that is used to provide temporary relief of nasal congestion, and many sinus/allergy/cold sufferers use the medication.
It is also a primary drug used in the creation of methamphetamines, which is why the push exists to have it removed as an over-the-counter drug, said Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp.
The city of Vienna will consider supporting the legislation, said Rapp. The council members wish to be fully informed about the issue before they vote on it.
To help city council members understand the issues involved, Azinger has been invited to present his case to the city council on Thursday evening.
Cathy Smith, Vienna councilwoman, is pleased about the information gathering session. "It is always good to have Tom come and speak. He has good information to share with the public. I'm looking forward to his presentation," Smith said Monday.
The council does not intend to vote on the matter on Thursday evening, only to begin the review process, said Rapp.
Without this primary ingredient being readily available in West Virginia, officials hope that the amount of meth available will decline in the state, said Rapp.
If pseudoephedrine does become a prescription-only medication, it means that West Virginia residents will be required to go to a doctor and obtain a prescription in order to get the medicine, said Rapp. For those who use the drug as it is intended, this means that getting cold medicine will become difficult, said Rapp.
"We are listening to what Tom has to say so that we can be better informed about the resolution," said Rapp.
Bruce Rogers, Vienna councilman, does not think the legislation is a good idea. "It will make these drugs harder to get, and give seniors a difficult time," said Rogers.
"If this resolution passes, caring for a cold won't be a matter of going to the pharmacy. It will mean a trip to the doctor, which will turn into a co-pay that seniors on a fixed income simply can't afford," Rogers said.
If the city of Vienna decides to back the resolution, it will be added to the list of cities in support of the cause. The city of Parkersburg has already backed the resolution.
"We are hoping for a large turnout from the public on Thursday so that people can be informed about this as well," said Rapp.