The Asthma & Allergy Foundation, St. Louis Chapter is working hard to protect the health rights of our citizens and to make sure our schools are safer for students with asthma and allergies. We work with local doctors, policy makers, nurses, and other community members to determine what we believe are the important policies and rights that our community needs for those suffering from asthma and allergies.
We are currently working on these bills:
- HB 1188 – (Passed!) allows a school nurse or other trained employee to administer asthma-related rescue medication to a student experiencing an asthma attack. AAFA supports this bill.
- This bill has passed the House of Representatives.
- This bill has passed the Senate Committee and will be going in front of the entire Senate any day.
- This bill has been introduced to the House Committee on Crime Prevention and has not passed as yet.
- AAFA national and AAFA STL are in opposition to this bill. Our allergists do not know how well this new medication, Releva, will work for their patients
- Having Releva be the only drug exempt from this proposed law would provide this company a monopoly on over the counter pseudoephedrine medications.
In addition to the bills we are working on, AAFA-STL is very involved in the local pseudoephedrine(PSE) issue. PSE is an ingredient in many common over-the-counter cold and allergy medications such as Sudafed, Advil Cold & Sinus and Claritin D. Unfortunately, it is also a main ingredient in the making of meth, a drug which has become a huge problem in Missouri. Local lawmakers in Missouri and the St. Louis area are considering legislation that would require a doctor’s prescription to obtain these medications. We staunchly oppose these measures because they would lead to significant burdens for patients and their families, including increased healthcare and fuel costs, long wait times at the doctor’s office and lost wages due to time off work. We also represent the many St. Louisan’s who cannot afford health insurance and so in areas where this new requirement passes, it will be even harder for them to get the medicines they need.
Instead, an effective alternative entails enforcing Federal purchase laws through a real-time, stop-sale system. For about a year, Missouri has been participating in the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx), an electronic technology that tells clerks in a retail store or pharmacy if a person is attempting to purchase a product containing PSE that exceeds the legal limit and immediately blocks the sale. Furthermore, information on sales and attempted sales are collected for law enforcement to prosecute criminals using these reliable medications containing PSE to illegally make and distribute meth. In the short time that the real-time, stop-sale system has been up and running in Missouri, it has blocked thousands of illegal sales each month. This law enforcement-focused approach is a much more reasonable and appropriate approach to the meth problem in our state. The NPLEx system is the only real-time, stop sale solution that also maintains consumer access to safe and effective cold and allergy medicines containing PSE.
AAFA is in favor of making harsher laws to stop the meth users but is against making these federally approved over the counter medications prescription only. Our healthcare system is burdened already and this places an additional burden and cost to the consumer.