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"Cold medicine" purchase regulation attracts concern


08:28, September 20, 2012

(File Photo/ People's Daily Online)

HEFEI, Sept 19 (Xinhua) -- Many cities and provinces across the country have enforced a regulation that requires people buying ephedrine-contained cold medicine to register their identities.

The "real-name purchasing regulation" brought in earlier this month has attracted public concern for some.

"It will be troublesome to buy medicine if you have a cold," said Liu Qianqian, a white-collar working in Hefei City, provincial capital of east China's Anhui Province.

Ephedrine is commonly used in medicines to ease common cold symptoms, such as coughing, a runny nose and nasal congestion. However, it can also be extracted and used for producing methamphetamine hydrochloride, or crystal meth, an amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs.

To crack down on illegal drug production, the State Food and Drug Administration requires that pharmacies check and register customers' identity cards and addresses when purchasing cold medicine. The amount of each purchase is also strictly limited.

According to reports, a man in Chongqing Municipality learnt drug producing methods from the Internet. He extracted 23 kilograms of drugs from cold medicine brought from local pharmacies. He was arrested by police after tip-offs this year.

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