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Technology helps prevent meth abuse
e-Reports, July 9, 2012
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Electronic technology is blocking the sale of pseudoephedrine to meth-making criminals daily in Indiana.

The effort aims to improve public safety and reduce the many ill-effects that widespread meth lab production has on Indiana’s communities and families. 

Legislation passed in the 2011 session of the Indiana General Assembly mandates that pharmacies (including those in hospitals and doctors’ clinics) selling nonprescription pseudoephedrine (PSE) and/or ephedrine-based products to consumers must now report those sales electronically via the National Precursor Log Exchange System (NPLEx). This online retailer database went live in January to begin tracking – and appropriately blocking – such sales.

 PSE sales data for First Quarter 2012
  January February March TOTAL
PURCHASES 191,314 198,202 194,859 584,375
BLOCKS 11,043 8,584 8,997 28,624
  Indiana has 1,172 pharmacies participating in NPLEx.
Source: Appriss Inc.

SEA 503 requires data be submitted to the NPLEx, administered by the Appriss Corporation, along with the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, the Indiana Sheriffs’ Association and the state police.

The system maintains a record of each PSE sale, sends a notice when a patron’s limit is reached and at that point blocks a pharmacy clerk from completing the sale.

An effective alternative
The ISMA supported passage of SEA 503, rather than another proposed option to place PSE and ephedrine on the controlled substances list as a scheduled drug available only by prescription.

The most recent figures provided by Appriss indicate in May alone the sale of 22,271 grams of PSE were blocked and prevented the potential sale from falling into the hands of meth criminals.

Copyright: Information written and displayed on www.ismanet.org is the property of ISMA and may not be reproduced without expressed written permission of the Indiana State Medical Association.

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