Associated Press

A new Mississippi law eliminates the requirement for a prescription to buy decongestants that contain ephedrine or pseudo-ephedrine.

Under the new law that takes effect Saturday, the medicine will be available behind the counter of pharmacies, and pharmacists will be required to keep track of how much is sold to one person.

Like many other states, Mississippi mandated a prescription years ago because drug enforcement agents said medications with ephedrine or pseudo-ephedrine were being used as an ingredient in crystal methamphetamine. Some consumers had complained that nonprescription decongestants were not strong enough.

Republican state Senator Joey Fillingane (Hattiesburg) said drug agents have seen an increase in crystal meth smuggled from other countries, and most states had already eased the prescription requirement for the decongestants.