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Program That Tracks Purchases of Pseudoephedrine at Drugstores Making Dent in Meth Trade

A program that keeps track of who is buying pseudoephedrine at drugstores is apparently making a dent in the meth lab business.

The company that created the program "N-Plex" held a news conference at Oglebay Park on Tuesday, explaining how it works. The program works when a person goes into a drugstore to buy sinus medicine containing pseudoephedrine. Their purchase is then logged on a database, which is shared among 30 states.

People buying it for genuine sinus problems might show up once or twice a year when they get a cold or allergies, but people making meth will have a very different buying pattern. "They have very odd purchase histories. They’re buying three, four times in a week. They’re getting blocked time and time again. They’re buying the absolute limit that they can buy every day or every month or every year. And that’s what I look for, is these strange patterns that look out of the ordinary," said Narcotics Detective Scott Kendall.

When they reach a certain number of grams, the person is blocked at the store from buying, and law enforcement can also log on and watch their pattern, which helps in getting them convicted.

West Virginia has seen a 30 percent decrease in pseudoephedrine sales since joining N-Plex last year.