Lawmakers looking at pseudoephedrine policies and meth making

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JEFFERSON CITY - Two Missouri representatives came together Thursday to host a demonstration of an electronic system that aims to help stop meth cooks. 

Representatives Travis Fitzwater (R-Callaway County) and Kurt Bahr (R - St. Charles County) hosted the demonstration of the software that helps law enforcement keep precursor ingredients out of the hands of meth cooks. 

The demo was held at Whaley's Pharmacy in Jefferson City and was filled with state representatives, pharmacists, officers and others interested in learning about the software. The software is called National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx). Missouri is one of 31 states using this tracking system.

"What this system does is it's a real-time tracking system," Fitzwater said. "There's been a push in our state to make pseudoephedrine a prescription drug only."

Some over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines include pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in common cold and allergy medicines, which are some common cold and allergy medicines provided over-the-counter. The vast majority of over-the-counter medicine containing pseudo ephedrine is purchased by people who really need them, some people buy these medicines to make drugs.

Beth Stubbs, a pharmacist at Kilgore's, said she remembers how difficult it was to track meth criminals before the software was made available in 2010.

"You had to be on top of things and reporting things," Stubbs said. "We would call other pharmacies, other pharmacies would call us trying to say, 'Hey, watch for this person, look for this person because they're buying extremely large quantities or they're showing up in large carloads."

Stubbs said she thinks the new system has been very beneficial. 

In 2014 the NPLEx system helped block the sale of more than 35,000 boxes of pseudoephedrine, stopping more than 91,000 grams from getting into the hands of meth criminals. 

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