Program That Tracks Purchases of Pseudoephedrine at Drugstores Making Dent in West Virginia Meth Trade
A program that keeps track of who is buying pseudoephedrine at West Virginia drugstores is apparently making a dent in the meth lab business.
The company that created the program known as NPLEX hosted a news conference at Oglebay Park on Tuesday, demonstrating how it works. When a person goes into a drugstore to buy sinus medicine containing pseudoephedrine his or her purchase is then logged on a database, which is shared among 30 states.
People buying it for genuine sinus problems might show up once or twice a year when they get a cold or allergies, but people making meth will have a very different buying pattern, the officials explained, buying three or four times in a week.
"They're getting blocked time and time again," said Detective Scott Kendall. "They're buying the absolute limit that they can buy every day or every month or every year. And that's what I look for, is these strange patterns that look out of the ordinary."
When a person reach a certain limit of pseudoephedrine, measured in grams, that person is blocked at the store from buying, and law enforcement can also log on and watch their pattern, which helps in getting them convicted.
West Virginia has seen a 30 percent decrease in pseudoephedrine sales since implementing NPLEX last year.