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WV Retailers Report Success In Battle Against Meth

The West Virginia Retailers Association is lauding the most recent results from the state’s real-time pseudoephedrine block system, known as the National Precursor Log Exchange, or NPLEx.

New data released Aug. 11 by Appriss, the company that operates the NPLEx system, shows that through the second quarter of 2014, electronic technology blocked more than 6,150 boxes of medicine containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) from being sold in West Virginia, preventing more than 16,344 grams from potentially being diverted by meth criminals.

NPLEx also showed a 35 percent reduction in overall PSE sales compared to the same quarter in 2013 as well as a 20 percent reduction in unique purchasers, according to the report.

“Implemented just over a year ago, West Virginia’s NPLEx system continues to demonstrate quantifiable results in the fight against meth – proving that it is an essential tool for retailers and the law enforcement community,” said Bridget Lambert, president of the West Virginia Retailers Association. “The latest NPLEx statistics show just how effective Gov. (Earl Ray) Tomblin’s substance abuse legislation has been at tracking suspected meth cooks and curbing supply of and access to potential precursors.

“Most remarkable are the year-to-year results for 2014 compared to 2013,” Lambert continued. “Sales of PSE are down over 35% and the number of individuals buying PSE is down over 20 percent. These downward sales trends are the most significant of any NPLEx utilizing state in the country.

"Most importantly, the law seems to be having a positive impact on meth labs as the state is reporting a 27 percent reduction in meth lab incidents for the first five months of 2014.”

Lambert added that the state would benefit from creating a meth offender registry to block meth criminals from purchasing PSE.

“West Virginians deserve real solutions and quantifiable progress in this critical fight," she said. "With NPLEx, we are finally starting to see evidence that our law enforcement professionals are gaining the upper hand against meth criminals."