Target’s Answer to National Meth Abuse Problem
By George Anderson
Target has said that over the next two to three months it will pull all over-the-counter (OTC) remedies containing pseudoephedrine from its store shelves and move them behind
the pharmacy counter. Stores without pharmacies, approximately 300 in number, will discontinue selling these products.
The company’s move was in response to the growing alarm across the country in the rise in methamphetamine use. Pseudoephedrine, contained in many popular cold and allergy medications,
is used to make the illegal drug.
Target’s decision to restrict the sale of products containing pseudoephedrine appears to be a means to have a single company policy that responds to regulations that vary by
Target spokesperson, Carolyn Brookter, told The Associated Press that the company expects to lose sales because of its new policy.
Hy-Vee initiated a similar program in its stores last year when it took popular cold products containing pseudoephedrine and placed them behind pharmacy and service counters.
To track purchases of products, customers were asked to supply their names when buying the items. Sales fell 20 percent to 30 percent in the process.
“It added a level of accountability for the customer,” Hy-Vee spokeswoman Ruth Comer told the AP. “They had to actually talk to somebody face-to-face and give a name.”
Senators from Target’s home state of Minnesota, Norm Coleman and Mark Dayton, have co-sponsored federal legislation that would require consumers to speak with a pharmacy worker
and supply ID before being able to buy medicines with pseudoephedrine.
Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on Target’s decision to move products containing pseudoephedrine to behind the counter? What will its impact
be on Target? Will other retailers follow Target’s lead? Is federal legislation needed to regulate the sale of these types of products or is this something best left up to individual
Michael Campion, Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner told The Associated Press that meth producers have gone shopping in other states for products
with pseudoephedrine when they find sales restricted in their own backyard. –
George Anderson – Moderator