Access to Medications

AAFA supports patient access to safe, inexpensive and effective over-the-counter (OTC) medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE).

More than 18 million households in the U.S. depend on OTC medicines containing PSE to relieve their common symptoms, but direct and immediate access to these medications for patients continues to be threatened as some states consider requiring prescriptions as a way to stop illegal meth makers. In recent years, policymakers in a number of states have proposed Rx-only laws that were eventually defeated in large part because patients and families overwhelmingly opposed them.

National Survey Shows Patient Opposition and New Data on Patient Burden

More than 45 million Americans have nasal allergies, more than 25 million have asthma and over 10 million have both. Respiratory diseases take a devastating toll on public health, costing billions of dollars in direct medical expenses, reducing quality of life, lowering workplace and school performance,and can be life-threatening to high-risk populations, such as asthma patients.

5-State Survey Shows Patients Want Access

Following AAFA’s first national PSE poll in 2010 and follow-up national poll again in 2013 showing that the majority of asthma, allergy, cold and flu patients opposed changing popular OTC medications to Rx status, the nonprofit patient organization worked with Harris Interactive to conduct a 2015 follow-up study to look more into the access issues that patients face in five key states. The results show that a clear majority of patients continue to prefer access. See the links below for more information about the 2015 five-state update.

About the 2015 Survey Update

AAFA conducted a special updated survey in five key states – IL, IN, OK, TN, MO – January 14 to 26, 2015, among 2,027 U.S. adults age 18+ who personally experienced cold, cough, flu, asthma and/or nasal allergies in the preceding 12 months and purchased non-prescription medications for at least one condition during that time. The survey was conducted for AAFA by Harris Poll. Results were weighted to census targets for education, age/gender, race/ethnicity, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

For more information on AAFA’s 2015 report and for previous survey findings, see the links below.

2015 Press Release Download PDF

2015 Five-State Survey Summary Download PDF

2015 Infographic Download PDF

2013 Report: Patient Survey Updates—Assessing Burden  Download PDF

2013 Press Release Download PDF

2010 Report: Patient Survey Report (PDF) Download PDF 

2010 Press Release Download PDF

AAFA Local Policy Statement (PDF) Download PDF   

Related Link: “Stop Meth, Not Meds”