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Column: Prescriptions won’t stop meth

5.14.2017 – James P. Hallan and Larry Wagenknecht, The Detroit News

The fight against meth production is one that has been waged across the country and in our own backyard. We have seen firsthand the progress our state has made, because our members are on the front lines of this fight. But some are proposing legislation that punishes law-abiding citizens and fails to address the true source of meth. While some criminals here still try to “cook” meth with local ingredients, including pseudoephedrine (PSE), most of the meth in the U.S. is made and illegally imported from Mexico.

Throughout Michigan retail stores and pharmacies are the only locations for consumers to purchase cold and allergy medicine containing pseudoephedrine (PSE), which is an over-the-counter ingredient found in safe and effective cold and allergy medicines such as Sudafed or Claritin-D. Among allergy sufferers, it is immensely popular. Yet the PSE in these medicines can be diverted for use in the “shake and bake” method of meth production. So, it’s a critical medicine for millions of Michiganians, and a vital ingredient for a few crooks. This juxtaposition is why it is critically important that Michigan has smart but tough laws already on the books.

Michigan is one of 33 states that uses the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx), a point-of-sale system that blocks the sale of PSE when the purchaser has exceeded daily and monthly limits. In Michigan in 2016, NPLEx blocked the sale of 219,458 grams of pseudoephedrine — totaling more than 83,000 boxes — to those who have reached the limit.

Read more here.