Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Prescription Strength Case

The Supreme Court hears arguments today in a case about a strip-search of a 13-year-old schoolgirl who was suspected, apparently incorrectly, of being in possession of prescription-strength ibuprofen pills. Students are subject to more intrusions on their liberties than adults, but this case will test whether the search was unreasonably intrusive.

I have just one question: what is the point of "prescription-strength" ibuprofen? Apparently, each prescription-strength pill contains 400 mg of active ingredient, as opposed to your standard ibuprofen pill, which contains 200 mg.

Are people stupid? Or do the regulators just think people are stupid? I can understand the importance of regulating prescription drugs that you can't get over the counter. But does anyone imagine that someone who can't get at those tantalizing 400 mg ibuprofen pills, because they're available only by prescription, won't think of taking two 200 mg ibuprofen pills that you can buy anytime, anywhere?

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