State keeps closer watch on meth ingredients

From staff reports:

Washington residents now have an extra line of defense against the manufacture of methamphetamine.

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) announced Sept. 26 that the Washington State Board of Pharmacy had adopted rules for a new, real-time monitoring system for purchases of cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, ephedrine and phenylopronolamine.

According to the DOH, the tracking system is already in use in many other states throughout the country. The system “scans photo identification as well as type and amount of product; it provides real-time information showing the cashier if the person buying the medication has exceeded allowed quantity.” This real-time information is transmitted into a database that law enforcement agencies use, according to the DOH.

Retailers are expected to be in compliance with the new system by Oct. 15. As it currently stands, many use a paper system to track and log the sales of products that can be potentially used in the manufacture of meth. The new system being implemented is called the National Precursor Log Exchange.

These monitoring efforts are believed to be effective in combatting the manufacture of meth on a small scale level. According to the DOH news release, “controlling access to products containing pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, and phenyloproanolamine will help stop meth makers from buying big quantities of the products while allowing legitimate access to cold, flu and allergy products.”


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