Ontario Food Stores Can Sell Medicines with Pseudoephedrine

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Ontario Food Stores Can Sell Medicines with Pseudoephedrine

TORONTO -- Grocery stores in Ontario can once again sell over-the-counter cough and cold medications containing the decongestant pseudoephedrine, a provincial judge ruled last week, overturning a ban on the sales instituted in April 2006 by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities.

Ontario Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Stewart's June 13 decision said that the pharmacy association can't make unilateral decisions on drug classifications, and must abide by laws that require changes to be approved by the provincial government, according to published reports.

The body limited the sale of such drugs to pharmacies because pseudoephedrine can be used to make illegal crystal meth. The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers challenged the ban, noting that in rural areas, where retailers usually don't have in-store pharmacies, shoppers were forced to travel miles to the closest drug store for medicines.

Following the ruling, stores are immediately restocking shelves with the medicines, the federation said.