Legislation to have pseudoephedrine - a key ingredient in the manufacturing of the drug "tik" or methamphetamine - reclassified, is in the pipeline, the Democratic Alliance reported.
This was revealed by Health Minister Manto Tshabalala Msimang in a reply to a question put to her in parliament by DA health spokesman Mike Waters on March 27.
The Medicines Control Council (MCC) had recommended that pseudoephedrine, d- nor-pseudoephedrine and ephedrine be restricted, they are currently available in cold and flu remedies.
The restriction of these drugs would make it more difficult for "backyard" tik manufacturers to produce the drug, Waters said in a statement.
Tik produced in domestic kitchens
"Unlike drugs such as cocaine, heroine and ecstasy, which are smuggled illegally into this country, tik can be produced right here in our own kitchens. Ingredients can be purchased from any of our local pharmacies because pseudoephedrine is an ingredient in many cold and flu remedies," he said.
Medication containing pseudoephedrine would be reclassified as schedule two medicines which means the products could still be sold without a prescription, but were subject to tighter controls.
"The maximum pack size will be limited and the number of purchases per person will be restricted to one pack per customer."
Pseudoephedrine as a single product would be classified as schedule six medicines. Waters said these measures would not stop the supply of tik, but would make it more difficult for small suppliers to operate. – (Sapa)
Tik as bad as car crash
Tik damages the heart