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System blocks county drug sales

12.25.16 – Annie Goeller, The Daily Journal

In the first six months of this year, nearly 800 boxes of pseudoephedrine were blocked from being sold in Johnson County as part of a program meant to hinder methamphetamine production.

Johnson County had the third highest amount of blocked sales among central Indiana counties, behind Marion and Hamilton counties, according to data from NPLEx, the program used to track and block pseudoephedrine sales.

The system, which is used in more than 30 states, tracks how much pseudoephedrine people buy, since customers are required to show their identification at the pharmacy when they buy the popular cold medicine.

The system will notify the pharmacy if people exceed state and federal limits for what they are allowed to purchase within a certain amount of time, blocking the sale.

In Indiana, a person can buy 7.2 grams of pseudoephedrine in a 30-day period. That amount is actually lower than federal law, which allows people to buy up to 9 grams in 30 days, which can range from 76 to more than 400 pills, depending on the dosage of medication, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The tracking system will also block the sale if the person has been convicted of a methamphetamine-related charge.

Across the state, the system has blocked the sale of more than 32,000 pseudoephedrine boxes in the first fix months of the year — the most recent data available.

The tracking system and its use by police can be partially credited for a decrease in methamphetamine labs across the state, said Krista McCormick, NPLEx account manager with Appriss. Last year, state police found 1,452 meth labs, and this year, that number is expected to be less than 1,000, she said.

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