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Missouri Becomes the Fourth State to Connect to Kentucky's Real-time Cold Medicine Tracking System
Mar 04, 2010 (04:03 PM EST)
Joins Illinois, Louisiana, with several others close behind
LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Missouri announced today that it will soon become the fourth state in the nation to require all of their retailers to submit over the counter cold and allergy medicine purchases to the national real time tracking system known as the National Precursor Log Exchange or NPLEx. This system was pioneered by Kentucky and is operated by Appriss, a Louisville Company. The NPLEx system is now connected to nearly 1/3 of the nation's pharmacies and ensures that, within participating states, criminals cannot move from store to store to purchase an illegal quantity of these cold medicines.
Kentucky launched this technology in late 2008 and each month the system tracks 110,000 boxes of over the counter cold and allergy medicines. These are commonly used medicines including well known brands such as Claritin-D, Zyrtec-D, Tylenol Cold and Sinus, Sudafed-D, Aleve-D, Mucinex-D, Advil Cold, Allergy and Sinus, Robitussin Cough & Cold, and Alavert D-12 just to name a few. "After 18 months the data shows that 96% of consumers never attempt to purchase above legal limits, however 4% of the purchases are denied because they would be illegal," stated Jim Acquisto, director of Government Affairs for Appriss.
NPLEx is designed to help in the battle against illegal meth labs without creating an unnecessary and burdensome prescription mandate for over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines containing PSE. A customer's photo identification is scanned by the pharmacy and the data is entered into a secure, Web-based portal. When a transaction that would exceed the legal limit is entered, a message is instantly sent to the retailer recommending denial of sale. The information is transferred instantly to the database where it is available for review by law enforcement.
The catch is that until other states join the system, criminals are able to easily drive to other states and obtain illegal quantities of these medicines which are then cooked into methamphetamine. Missouri becomes the fourth state to join Kentucky and there are two other states expected to join within the next few weeks. Even more encouraging is that there are 11 states with active legislation that would connect them to Kentucky. Some of these are additional states on our borders.
The National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) has facilitated an agreement between law enforcement, healthcare professionals, state regulatory agencies, and pharmaceutical manufacturers to implement the program. NPLEx is funded by manufacturers of those medicines and therefore is free to any state that chooses to join the system.
"By adopting NPLEx as its e-tracking program, Missouri launches a pioneering effort to block illegal PSE purchases store by store, city by city, and state by state," said Charlie Cichon, NADDI executive director. "NPLEx is the only solution that stops meth cooks from crossing borders to purchase PSE illegally, making it the most effective solution available."
"I am proud Missouri has joined us in this very difficult task of fighting illegal meth labs and their suppliers," said Keith Cain, Davies County, Kentucky sheriff and chairman of the National Sheriffs' Association Drug Enforcement Committee. "Missouri becomes the second Kentucky border state to join this national system along with Illinois. I hope that other states on our border will soon join as well."
Since NPLEx was launched in Kentucky, sheriffs in several counties credit e-tracking with 70 to 100 percent of the meth lab busts in their communities. Leaders in a Bay County, Florida pilot project say e-tracking has reduced illegal PSE sales by more than 90 percent.
Today's action comes at a time when the Louisville Metro Council is considering a resolution to urge the state legislature to require all consumers seeking to purchase these medicines to go to a doctor and obtain a prescription.
In a recent poll conducted in Missouri by David Binder Research, 78 percent of respondents indicated that the requiring a doctors prescription for these medicines would create an "unnecessary burden" for law-abiding citizens. The Rx-only mandate would place a burden on families by significantly increasing consumer costs, and hurt the state's finances at the worst possible time.
For more information on the NPLEx system, visit www.nplexservice.com
Appriss provides innovative technology solutions that help thousands of local, state, and Federal government agencies serve and protect their citizens. In addition to VINE, other services offered by the company include Sex Offender Solutions, which help communities manage and inform citizens about sex offenders' movements; JusticeXchange®, the leading solution for connecting criminal justice agencies nationwide; and the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx), an electronic tracking system that enforces purchase limitations on pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in methamphetamine.