Lobbyists have spent a record $8.6 million in Frankfort this year at a time when lawmakers were considering legislation to make some cold and allergy medications available by prescription only.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association was the biggest single spender, investing more than $486,000 in a largely successful push to quash a bill that would have ended over-the-counter sales of medications, including Claritin-D and Mucinex-D, that contain pseudoephedrine.
That legislation was intended to curb methamphetamine production. It passed only after lawmakers changed it to allow consumers to buy roughly two packages of the medications each month or up to seven packages a year without a prescription. People who need more than that would have to get a prescription.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association represents major providers of over-the-counter medications.