Because we’re all goddamn hysterical idiots, we let fear of meth drive good cold meds off the shelves, replaced by something many of us — including Chief Heathen — saw as effectively inert. Turns out, we were right:
When the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 passed, pharmacies moved all cold-medicine with the actually-works ingredient pseudoephedrine, only available on request and with a copy of your ID. In its place, the pharmacy shelves were restocked with phenylephrine, which was alleged to work just as well. It doesn’t work at all.