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TORONTO -- The Government of British Columbia and the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia have both rejected the recommendation by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) to remove virtually all cough, cold, and allergy remedies from grocery stores.
Last month NAPRA moved to eliminate common cough, cold, and allergy remedies from grocery stores to combat the issue of crystal meth production. However, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG), among others, argued that there was no evidence that common cough, cold, and allergy remedies from grocery stores are being diverted for meth production in Canada.
John Les, the Solicitor General of British Columbia, said in a letter to CFIG that "I concur with your association's view that retail products are currently not a concern in methamphetamine production and that restricting their sale may result in significant inconvenience to the public."
CFIG president John F.T. Scott welcomed the decision by the B.C. government and pharmacists. "It cannot be stressed enough that the stronger single-ingredient products are already being sold behind the pharmacy counter, and the common cough and cold products, such as Benedryl and Contact C, found on the shelves of retail pharmacy and grocery stores have never been an issue with respect to crystal meth production."
The president of CFIG urged NAPRA to now reassess its recommendation and to sit down with CFIG and others to look at alternative measures that could address any concerns. CFIG has contacted the other provincial governments to apprise them of the British Columbia decision, urging them to follow the approach of both the Government of British Columbia and the B.C. College of Pharmacists.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG) is a not-for-profit association founded in 1962 that represents independent and franchised grocers across Canada. CFIG has a national membership of 3,800.