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Seen at reason:

“CVS did not set out to be part of the meth trafficking trade but they made a poor decision,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana Mintz. “Rather than choosing to over-comply like their competitors did, they knowingly under-complied with the law.”

They either broke the law or did not. Under-complied sounds dumb. Seems they weren’t in the habit of harassing their customers who had colds enough for the government.

25 Responses to “Binary”

  1. John Smith. Says:

    I just love being interrogated over a damn bottle of cold medicine. My favorite cold medicine was aleve cold and sinus. The ingredients were changed in order to sell over the counter so now it hardly works. If it is so important why not just make everyone go to the doctor to get a prescription.

    Looks like it only happened in california. Reason?? Because the rest of the country uses that new method of making meth that reduces the amounts of chemicals needed to something you could buy daily. These regulators should lay off using seized goods….

  2. Wolfwood Says:

    At some point, don’t you just need to make sure you have clerks who aren’t utter and complete dimwits? The dude coming up with a cart full of Sudafed and Mucinex-D probably isn’t running an orphanage full of kids with sinus problems. Tell people that Sudafed is like .380 ammo a few months ago: one box per customer per day.

    For that matter, I sat down and did the math (that’s with an A): at least in my state, the limit is enough that you could take the recommended dosage all day, every day each month. I don’t like the imposition, but so long as it doesn’t become a slippery slope then it’s one I can live with. With our Drunken Sailor government, having “just enough” Sudafed is near the bottom of my concerns.

  3. John Richardson Says:

    I am one of those people who has to take Sudafed on a daily basis just so I can breath due to my bad sinuses. I just love being treated like a criminal everytime I go to a pharmacy.

    I don’t know where the gov’t got the idea that CVS was any less rigorous than say Walmart but that isn’t my experience.

    When our government started regulating Sudafed it just shifted the meth labs to south of the border. So now instead of a few ne’er do wells who barely passed high school chemistry making meth (and often blowing themselves up in the process), we have a near narco-state on our southern border. It wasn’t the pot or cocaine that made the Mexican drug cartels so powerful and vicious. It was there takeover of the meth market.

  4. Weer'd Beard Says:

    …Or you could just bust people for cooking meth.

    I mean at this level of stupid you could bust me for buying sugar and yeast too much. I mean maybe I’m baking a lot of bread and pizza….or maybe I’m running a backyard stil! Better just harass me than bother to collect evidence and find out!

    Maybe I’m cooking meth, or maybe I just have a nasty headcold.

  5. Jailer Says:

    It boils down to one thing. Big gov making yet another money grab. It has nothing to do with drug trafficking and everything to do with the money.

  6. ParatrooperJJ Says:

    I jsut have my doctor write a rx with 12 refills. Avoids the whole problem. It’s a shame though that people with allergies or colds are getting hit with felonies for treating themselves.

  7. Robert Says:

    So, does CVS do 75 mil (the amount of the fine) in profit selling these particular cold meds? The article says they were also fined an addfitional 2.6 mil to take away the profits they made selling the drugs, so that means they would have to sell a LOT more to make up the fine. I’d expect their decision is just going to be stop selling these types of meds entirely to avoid problems like this in the future. Or at least to require an RX for all sales.

  8. mikee Says:

    For those of you who have not yet read the health care reform bill in its entire 2000+ pages, note that some 1500 over the counter drugs are indeed going to need a prescription to be written, in order to obtain payment from insurance.

    So yes, most sales will require an Rx – for essentially the entire stock on the shelves of your pharmacy. How this reduces cost to the patient, I am not quite sure. Oh, and be sure to get a 1099 filled out if you buy more than $600 of goods from your pharmacy (or anywhere else) this year, or the IRS will fine you.

  9. Mu Says:

    How often will you repeat that crap about the 1099? It only refers to business to business transactions.

  10. Jay Says:

    And you already need to get a prescription in order to get reimbursement from your insurance for drugs. That’s how it works.

  11. Chris Says:

    That reimbursement is for HSAs not for insurance companies. No insurance plan I have ever had covered OTC stuff anyways.

    That said, the new regulations for OTCs is specifically designed to break the current health care system and if it is left in place, it will.

  12. Peter Says:

    I can’t believe some of the comments. “Some” people abuse OTC meds, so *all* of us us have to be inconvenienced?

    Substitute ‘OTC meds’ with guns, and all of you start foaming at the mouth, yet this is OK?

  13. Wolfwood Says:


    There’s a fundamental right to self-defense. So far as I know, there’s no fundamental right to more Sudafed than the recommended dosage without a prescription. Your state might be more restrictive than mine, but if the legal nonprescription limit is in accord with the recommended dosage then I suspect it’s within the realm of proper governmental regulation.

  14. Robert Says:

    “Your state might be more restrictive than mine, but if the legal nonprescription limit is in accord with the recommended dosage then I suspect it’s within the realm of proper governmental regulation.”

    Let’s say you are the only person in your household that has a drivers license (needed for the transaction to take place) You also have 5 teenagers / children that all get sick at the same time, or suffer from allergies. You have no insurance and cannot afford to go to the doctor to get a Rx for all 5 (even with insurance, you’re looking at a $100 or more copay). The amount of medicine you can legally buy OTC is not enough to treat all of them.

  15. Robert Says:

    Oh, and plus the time you’d have to take off from work to take all 5 to the doctor to get the Rx in the first place…

  16. Peter Says:


    “proper governmental regulation”? Please tell me you were channeling Tam and were really trying to detonate a snarkbomb.

    Try to step outside the whole ‘scary drug abuse’ meme, OK? The government trying to monitor how much Advil Cold& Sinus I buy/have is just as dangerous and repugnant as that same government presuming to tell any of us that there’s a “recommended” number of guns and ammunition.

    And how is maintaining one’s health *not* a fundamental Right?

  17. Diomed Says:

    The first time I bought cold meds under the “anti-meth” regime here in VA was the last time.

    What really frosted my flakes was that I could go into a CVS in New Freaking Jersey and buy the same stuff OTC with no hassles beyond paying for it.

    This is what Prohibition gets us. Thanks a bunch, “greatest generation”/boomers.

  18. Mr Evilwrench Says:

    I remember buying boxes upon boxes of it for five farkin cents a box on clearance because it was expiring (it doesn’t really expire on schedule like that). Every time I have to prostrate myself for a box now makes me want to punch the teeth out of a legislator or a tweak. I guess it would be easier with the tweak; their teeth fall out anyway.

  19. phuckthecops Says:

    what do you want to bet that something else is at play …. i am thinking someone needed to make some money

  20. Bob DOle Says:

    ‘So far as I know, there’s no fundamental right to more Sudafed than the recommended dosage without a prescription. ‘

    The right to trade without having to ask anyone’s permission. This is what liberty means, look up the debates for the 14th amendment if you doubt me.

  21. Wolfwood Says:

    Let me ask this: should there be any restrictions on any of the following items?

    -sodium thiopental
    -disease cultures

    If yes, then why not pseudoephedrine?

    If there should be a right to trade without permission, does that include such things as:

    -NBC weapon components
    -child pornography

    If not, why not? If yes, how do you square that with liberty?

    I don’t care about the debates surrounding the Fourteenth Amendment. Part of having a government is the delegation of certain elements of control to a central source. As part of the state’s police power, it must include the right to control certain overly-dangerous goods and services. There’s no ban on pseudoephedrine. If you need it, you can make do with the current limits. You can stockpile. You can get a prescription. If none of those work, you can try other treatments.

    Realistically, I think you’re just offended by inconvenience and arrogantly think you shouldn’t have to pay the price for the maintenance of a free society where you can go about your business largely in safety. This isn’t Soviet Russia, it’s not North Korea, it’s not Somalia, it’s not even Great Britain. There isn’t a Golden Age in the past when we were far freer than we are today. We’re not where we ought to be, but America is the best hope and we’re making progress.

  22. John Smith. Says:

    @ wolfwood. Because the lack of pseudoephedrine has not reduced the available amount of meth…. Also how many of those items are traded regardless of the laws put up to stop them?? It is just like making gun laws to make people safer. In the end the only people hurt by them are law abiding citizens because the criminals do not care in the slightest about the law. As for the golden age crap look at it like this. In the future are we going to be remembered as a golden age or the path to tyranny??? The other treatments do not work. I end up just having to suffer. The docs do not readily prescribe aleve and pseudoephedrine combination because they are afraid you are getting it to make fucking METH…

  23. Peter Says:


    “Realistically, I think you’re just offended by inconvenience and arrogantly think you shouldn’t have to pay the price for the maintenance of a free society where you can go about your business largely in safety.”

    Being made partially accountable for the bad actions of others is in no way maintaining a “free society”. It’s no different than getting your private parts fondled because some bad guys flew hijacked airplanes into some buildings. How’s that been working out for you?

    And as to your laundry list of straw men: have you forgotten that you’ve posted this in a place that’s regularly read by folks who’ve been the target of this sort of stuff for years? “the only purpose of handguns is to kill” “50 caliber rifles can be used to shoot down airliners (full of children, of course)”

    Exchanging someone else’s laundry list of acceptable infringements for one of your own isn’t a step forward.

  24. Wolfwood Says:

    AR-15s, P-3ATs, and SayUncle’s new .50BMG aren’t of the same class as hand grenades and child pornography. There are limits to regulation. We’re not as free as we rightfully should be, but we’re also more free than we should reasonably expect given our own actions since 1776. Progress is being made toward better liberty, and the mature reaction to the current situation is to understand that there will be differences of opinion between reasonable people along the way. Look at the progress even just on gun rights and tell me that we were better off in the past.

    When the regulation happens to be in line with the recommended maximum safe dosage then I don’t have a huge problem with it. If you need more than the maximum safe dosage then you should be under a doctor’s supervision anyway. Although plenty of drugs can be abused, people who have too much Tylenol don’t go on burglary and robbery sprees (as those addicted to meth and opiates do), and people who have too much Zyrtec don’t risk creating superbugs (as would happen more often if antibiotics were available OTC). When it comes to guns, acceptable restrictions are qualitative, not quantitative. Guns are a tool for self-defense and can be made from materials found at Home Depot. You could even mine/harvest the raw materials yourself if you felt like it. So far as I know, pseudoephedrine is complex enough to make that you can only buy it in the finished form of medicinal products. Apples and oranges entirely.

    Seriously, how much pseudoephedrine are you asking your doctor to prescribe that he’s concerned you’re cooking meth? You really can’t get by with the safe dosage and buying Aleve separately?

  25. DJMoore Says:

    As far as I’m concerned, this amounts to assuming that I’m a bad guy out to commit a crime, and asking me to prove that I’m not.

    Worse, it’s in support of a set of laws I’m militantly opposed to.

    #2 Wolfwood:

    “Slippery slope”? Yeah, this is pretty damn slippery, and a pretty steep slope, and as far as I know, it’s resulted in a lot of hassle for the law abiding, while not doing a bloody thing to stop an activity which wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t illegal in the first place.

    “Slipper slope”? I’ll give you slippery slope: Here in Texas, it is illegal to buy certain kinds of labware without a permit, in fear that you might use it to make drugs. We’re not talking anything exotic, either:

    (A) a condenser
    (B) a distilling apparatus
    (C) a vacuum drier
    (D) a three-neck or distilling flask
    (E) a tableting machine
    (F) an encapsulating machine
    (G) a filter, Buchner, or separatory funnel
    (H) an Erlenmeyer, two-neck, or single-neck flask
    (I) a round-bottom, Florence, thermometer, or filtering flask
    (J) a Soxhlet extractor
    (K) a transformer
    (L) a flask heater
    (M) a heating mantel or
    (N) an adaptor tube

    If I squint, I can sort of see things like tableting machines and encapsulators. But…Erlenmeyer flasks? These are the iconic conical flasks used in all manner of lab work. Florence flasks are globe-shaped. In essence, both are simply bottles. Transformers? Standard electronic part. Adjustable transformers, which is what they’re talking about, have many uses in shops, non-chemistry labs, and even stage lighting. Funnels? Heaters? Distilling apparatus, including condensers? These are all basic lab tools, and many can be replaced by ordinary cooking or hardware items.

    “Sales transactions” of these items are entered “into an investigative database”. So it’s not enough that you have to be licensed, but each individual transaction is tracked.

    SLIPPERY SLOPE? I execrate upon your slippery slope. We are near the bottom, and headed right into the barbed wire.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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