Here’s a little tale of life in the 21st century.
As I suffered through a bout of the usual seasonal cold last week, I found that my supply of my remedy of choice — a generic over-the-counter combo antihistamine and pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) — was running low. As I ran errands, I searched for this variety on the shelves of local drug stores, but to no avail. Finally, this morning, at a Walgreen’s in downtown San Francisco, I found the precise medication, so I thought, gee, better stock up.
But when I plopped three boxes of “Walfinate D” on the counter, the checkout lady said, “There’s a limit of two on those.” She couldn’t tell me exactly why, but since all she wanted to do was ring box number three up separately, I didn’t pursue it.
Back at my desk, I decided to look for answers. I couldn’t remember how to spell “pseudoephedrine” so I just Googled “sudafed controls” and found this page, which pretty much answered my question: Pseudoephedrine is apparently a key raw material for the proprietors of meth labs, so the government wants to limit bulk sales.
First I was irritated that my need for cold relief was being made more inconvenient by the chemistry demands of speed freaks. Then I was delighted at how simple a matter it was, in these Google-powered times, to discover exactly why my cold medicine was considered a suspect substance.
My inconvenience was hardly severe. But if they try to ban my Sudafed, as the commentator on the above page proposes, they’ll have to pry it from my germy, sneezed-into hands!
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