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Bridget Lambert: Much Progress In Meth Battle

4.13.15 – Bridget Lambert, The Charleston Daily Mail

Many West Virginia Retailers Association member pharmacies have taken bold steps to block and curb the illegal sale of pseudoephedrine products so that only law-abiding citizens access them.

Those efforts, along with the National Precursor Log Exchange — an electronic blocking system at the point of sale — led to over 13,000 boxes of pseudoephedrine being blocked in 2014.

Meanwhile, meth labs declined across the state by an astonishing 40 percent in 2014; one of the highest year over year declines in the country.

Let’s give credit where credit is due. This is a monumental feat that has both significantly reduced the meth lab problem while maintaining consumer access to the products that work for them.

West Virginia Retailers Association members have been on the front lines of this issue. Pseudoephedrine is a safe, very effective ingredient in many popular cough, cold and allergy medications that is unfortunately at times diverted into the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Some interest groups want to take away the consumers right to purchase these products over-the-counter and instead require they get a prescription. This strategy would force anyone who needs medicine like Sudafed or Zyrtec-D to take time off work, go to the doctor, pay a copay, then go to the pharmacy for relief from a simple sinus or allergy problem — increasing their medical expenses and taking them away from their families and jobs.

Read more here.