Up to Speed


Bad news for cold and allergy sufferers who were hoping that the failure of the PATRIOT Act extension bill, into which the Combat Meth Act had been folded, would mean a reprieve from federal restrictions on the sale of medicines containing pseudoephedrine: It looks like the restrictions were added (see pages 137-149) to an appropriations bill that Congress passed just before its winter break. (The new rules take effect 90 days after passage, so you might want to stock up.) In Oklahoma, meanwhile, the widow of a state trooper killed by a speed freak has sued drug companies and retailers, including Pfizer, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens, for failing to comply with the law before it was passed.

Correction: As a couple of commenters have noted, the final version of this appropriations bill (HR 2862) did not include the pseudoephedrine provisions. Let the jokes about the title of this post begin.