Bill to Help Address Misuse of Over-the-Counter Medication

Leading Community Development and Small Businesses

By: MA State Senator Pavel Payano

This month, I would like to draw attention to a pressing issue regarding over-the-counter medication and introduce a bill that was filed this session to address it: S.1106, An Act specifying an electronic system to ensure that sales of certain products containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) do not exceed limits established under federal law.

In recent years, local law enforcement has raised concerns about the rise in ‘homemade’ methamphetamine production derived from relatively inexpensive medications, such as Sudafed, which contains Pseudoephedrine. These common ingredients in cold medications are readily available chemicals that can be utilized in the home production of methamphetamine. Not only do domestic labs pose a significant threat to public safety, but they also have detrimental effects on the environment, endangering vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly who live near these “meth labs.”

To combat this issue, I introduced legislation that will set the limit on the sale of products containing pseudoephedrine or similar chemical bases. The bill requires pharmaceutical retailers to keep such products behind the counter or in a locked case and to log all purchases of these products each day. It also establishes additional safeguards to ensure compliance by mandating the submission of non-prescription buyers’ information to the Department of Public Health or the appropriate state agency’s sale system.

The legislation’s proposed measures mirror the limitations under federal law, which have been on the books for over a decade.

My office is working alongside local and statewide law enforcement agencies to educate the public about the issue and advocate to advance this critical legislation in the Legislature. With the rise in overdose deaths across the state and country, closing any loopholes that allow these products to fall into the wrong hands is critical.

Please let me know your thoughts on this bill or anything else.
You can reach my office at or 617-722-1604. ◊