Add New Haven to the growing list of communities in eastern Missouri that have passed measures requiring a prescription to buy cold pills containing pseudoephedrine.

Pseudoephedrine is the vital ingredient needed to make methamphetamine.

Detective Sgt. Jason Grellner, head of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit, said he was notified Tuesday morning that the New Haven Board of Aldermen passed the prescription ordinance at their meeting Monday night.

That makes close to 20 communities that have approved prescription laws in east and southeast Missouri, Grellner said.

Washington was the first city in the state to pass a local prescription law. New Haven this week became the fourth city in Franklin County to pass the measure after Union and Gerald.

Grellner made a presentation last week to the Pacific Board of Aldermen which is expected to make a decision soon.

The city of Cape Girardeau also is considering an ordinance after Grellner recently addressed the town board there. If it is approved there, it would be largest city so far to adopt the local law, Grellner said.

Grellner has been a strong advocate for passing local ordinances because the Missouri Legislature has failed to pass a statewide measure.

When the state of Oregon passed a statewide prescription law five years ago, the number of meth labs in the state plummeted.

Missouri again was ranked No. 1 in the nation in the number of meth labs in 2009.

Franklin County, which had the second most meth labs in the state, reported a 34 percent increase last year compared to 2008.