Third time’s the cure: “Sudafed Bill” sails through legislative approval

Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer, had one, all-caps answer when asked how he felt about the passage of a bill he sponsored to relax laws on dispensing pseudoephedrine, the medication that helps reduce allergy symptoms.

“RELIEF,” said Post via email.

House Bill (HB) 2648, which was approved by the Oregon House of Representative in April and passed through the state Senate with a 27-2 vote Monday, June 7, makes the drug available to customers over the age of 18, with proper identification, and after recording some patient information. The medicine would still be kept behind the counter.

If signed by Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon residents won’t have to travel to another state for allergy relief in more than 15 years.

“Passing the Sudafed Bill means everything to me. I have worked tirelessly to get that passed since I first got into the Legislature. I have to thank all of my colleagues who joined me in voting, ‘yes,’ to lowering health care costs and making a common sense decision in moving these common cold medicines back to where they belong, behind the counter without a prescription,” he said.

Post’s first attempt to pass a similar bill was in 2017, but the effort never made out of the committee level. In 2019, another bill progressed to a Senate vote, but altered so much in the process that Post himself turned against it.

“Knock on wood, this has been by far my most successful legislative session in my time in the House,” Post said.

HB 2644, which honors Atomic War Cleanup Veterans and calls for them to receive enhanced Veteran’s Administration benefits, and HB 2650, which allows police dogs injured in the line of duty to be transported via ambulance as long as a human isn’t in need, also earned approval from Legislators. Post was a chief sponsor on both bills.

A fourth bill that would have lane permitted sharing for motorcycles passed, but was vetoed by the governor.

“HB 3047 that makes doxing illegal and it looks like HB 2646, the Kratom Act, HB 2387 CASA funding, and HB 2607, a tax relief for wildfire victims all will pass out of Ways and Means,” Post said.

The Kratom Act would establish regulations for kratom products, including testing standards, labeling requirements and minimum age for sale. Kratom is derived from a plant and used by people suffering from withdrawal symptoms from certain substances and to cope with some mental health conditions. The FDA has warned against its usage and it is banned in some states.