Pharmacies keep the cold medications behind the counter, and customers must show a photo ID to purchase all medicines that contain pseudoephedrine.
"There are now products that will allow people to get the pseudoephedrine, but because of chemical technology, cannot be made into meth," Foster said. "So your folks would still be able to get a very effective pseudoephedrine product without a prescription."
Republican legislators also questioned the task force's decision to shoot down a proposal to set up an online registry that would prevent people convicted of meth-related crimes from buying pseudoephedrine cold products. The task force voted 6-5 against the "meth-offender registry."
"Even if it's prescription, they should have a meth-offender registry," Walters said. "A meth-offender registry [bill] should be introduced. If somebody else doesn't do it, I will."
Law enforcement officers who sat on the Kanawha substance abuse task force opposed the registry. Kanawha County authorities have seized more than 100 meth labs this year.
"The concern was that it would detract from what they thought was the most important recommendation for reducing meth labs, which is making pseudoephedrine prescription-only," Foster said. "Rather than providing another avenue, a path of least resistance, we didn't feel that [a meth-offender registry] was nearly as important in dealing with the meth lab issue."
Delegate Don Perdue, D-Wayne, and Sen. Greg Tucker, D-Nicholas, plan to introduce legislation that would require a prescription before people could buy medications containing pseudoephedrine.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group that represents over-the-counter drug manufacturers, has already started to lobby West Virginia legislators to oppose the bill. Four CHPA lobbyists attended Wednesday's legislative interim meeting.
Earlier this month, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's Advisory Council on Substance Abuse voted overwhelmingly to support legislation that would require a prescription for pseudoephedrine.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.