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Pharmacy software works to limit meth production

3.01.2017 – Jefferson News Tribune

Missouri is attempting to shed its reputation as the methamphetamine capital of the country, as law enforcement work with the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) to decrease the level of meth production across the state.

With the help of NPLEx, the sale of 96,580 grams of psuedophedrine was blocked from potentially being used illegally in 2016, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Pharmacies or retailers that sell products containing psuedophedrines are using NPLEx statewide.

Whaley’s East End Pharmacy participated in a demonstration of the NPLEx program Tuesday, illustrating how easy it can be for retailers and pharmacists to join the movement to combat meth.

Jim Gwinner, spokesperson for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, led the demonstration.

NPLEx is a web-based application that monitors consumer sales of medications that contain ingredients such as psuedophedrine (PSE), one of the main ingredients used to make methamphetamine. Since the implementation of NPLEx in 2011, the number of identified meth labs have decreased from 2,100 to 314 in 2016, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol.

Missouri is one of 33 states using the software to combat meth production.

When customers come in to purchase a product such as Sudafed or Allegra, they are asked for their driver’s license or state identification, allowing the pharmacist or cashier to scan and log the information in the database. The data from the ID, such as name and address, are used to determine if a customer has exceeded his or her purchase quantity, measured in grams.

Amanda Rudder, pharmacist at Whaley’s, said the average weekly limit for purchase of PSE is 3 grams, the monthly limit is 9 grams, and the annual limit is 108 grams.

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