The Fenton Board of Aldermen will once again deal with a bill that would require a doctor's prescription to purchase pseudoephedrine.
Sponsor Chris Clauss will reintroduce it Thursday at the board's monthly meeting of its various committees. It will be on the Police Committee agenda. On Thursday, the board will vote on whether the bill can appear on the board's Feb. 28 agenda.
The previous bill fell short of approval Jan. 28. Although it passed 4-2, Missouri statute demands that five votes are required to be passed by an eight-member aldermanic board, not by a majority of board members present at a meeting.
There were six board members present Jan. 28. Gary Fischer was absent, while the seat vacated by Jerry Sorge has been unfilled since November.
At the meeting, Clauss sought a suspension of rules and had a third and final reading Jan. 28.
“If I had known about the statute, I would have waited until February to have the final reading (with the entire board),” she said. “However, it's the law and you have to live with it. I'll introduce it on Thursday and we'll see if it passes.”
On Friday, City Attorney Jerome Wallach was confident the measure could be introduced again so soon after the Jan. 28 meeting.
“In my preliminary opinion, if it's brought back with a new number, it becomes a new bill,” he said. “I've seen this at the state and national level. Bills are always brought back for vote. Unless some new research shows up, I'm confident it can be brought up again.”
The board has dealt with the issue of pseudoephedrine sales for more than a year. The nasal-congestion drug, which is found in name brands such as Sudafed and Actifed, is the prime ingredient used to make methamphetamine, or “meth.”
In 2012, Fenton had the top two stores in Missouri for selling pseudoephedrine, according to the National Precursor Log Exchange. This is a monitoring system used by law enforcement agencies.
A previous attempt to pass a doctor's prescription bill in Fenton failed in June 2012.
The difference now is a new drug called Zephrex D. The pseudoephedrine in it bonds with the other ingredients. Meth makers cannot extract it to make the drug. Zephrex D is sold over the counter and does not require a doctor's prescription.
Consumers now have a choice and don't need a doctor's prescription, Clauss said.