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Missouri grocers combat meth manufacturing with sophisticated system that tracks OTC medicine sales

6.16.2017 – Sean McDowell, Fox 4kc 

LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — Grocers in Missouri are fighting the drug problem head-on. They’ve been using an elaborate computer system, one that’s designed to prevent sales of over-the-counter medicines used to make meth.

“One thing to make a purchase is you’ll have to show proper identification,” Jim Gwinner said, as he approached the pharmacy counter at the Lee’s Summit Price Chopper store.

An everyday purchase is a mundane moment that can make a difference in the fight against methamphetamine.

“Every transaction is visible to law enforcement,” Gwinner said.

Gwinner, a spokesperson for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, gave reporters a rare peek at N-Plex, a software application that tracks the sale of any product with pseudoephedrine. That substance is found in most over-the-counter allergy medicines, and it can be used to make meth. The Missouri Grocers Association also participated in the demonstration.

“In the last couple of years, we’ve seen a 400 percent decline in the meth lab incidents around the state,” Gwinner said.

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