Pseudoephedrine may require prescription in Poplar Bluff

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Pseudoephedrine is the only ingredient in meth in which there is no substitute.

And now, police and pharmacists want to make sure everyone who wants to purchase pseudoephedrine has a prescription.

"We know we have a problem with the Smurfing as they call it."

Poplar Bluff Police Chief Danny Whiteley says pharmacists in town see it all the time.

It's called smurfing, and it's the process meth makers use to avoid suspicion while buying pseudoephedrine.

"They'll come in, buy it, go back out to the car. Then another person will come in. Usually these people are from out of town, or even out of state," said pharmacist Dr. Marty Michel.

So the police department is trying to pass an ordinance that would require everyone to have a doctor's prescription before buying pseudoephedrine.

"It will, I think, dramatically reduce the smurfing, or going around to other pharmacies, using different IDs, and using three or four people at a time," said Whiteley.

"It troubles me that we have to do this, but I think that problems with meth are affecting so many people that I think we've been forced to this," said general practioner Dr. Dorothy Munch.

Dr. Munch says there are several alternative drugs to pseudoephedrine if you have the sniffles.  She also says prescriptions can be called in and filled quickly.

"We turn our prescriptions around in one day on something like this," Dr. Munch said. 
"Not being a controlled substance as far as us, I think that would be pretty easy."

Dr. Michel also says the ordinance is a better alternative to a list of people who can't buy the drug, and will make his job easier.

"We don't need to be the police. The police need to monitoring that," he said.

The Poplar Bluff City Council will vote on the ordinance on December 21st.

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