Region 8 pharmacy reduces amount of pseudoephedrine sold

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

WEINER, AR (KAIT) – The Weiner Pharmacy told Region 8 News Tuesday it only has small amounts of pseudoephedrine containing products in stock because of concerns they would sell to a meth user or manufacturer. According to Susan Johnson, the pharmacy chose not to sell the meth-making ingredient to eliminate problems. The pharmacy has been a target for criminals for years.

"We've been hit seven times in the past few years and I do believe that the reason we have had these break-ins is because of the problem," said Johnson.

Weiner Pharmacy went into business in 1987. When it began selling pseudoephedrine products, methamphetamine was a relatively new phenomenon.

"I think before the whole crystal meth issue, there was more sell of pseudoephedrine," said Johnson. "The people who really and truly needed that pseudoephedrine product, we've tried to help them find other comparable products that will do the same thing."

Johnson said other pharmacists have had to take time off to testify in court if a criminal disputed where he or she got the pseudoephedrine to make meth.

"Before they can buy a pseudoephedrine product, they have to have a prescription from their doctor, which is not a big deal. They will either call their doctor or we will call their doctor for them and get that prescription," said Johnson.

Many other pharmacies require prescriptions to sell the drug and some states are considering new legislation to cut down on the number of methamphetamine cases.

"It's just such a hassle and there are only two of us here working and in order to sell the product, it either has to be sold by either a licensed pharmacist or a licensed pharmacy technician," said Johnson. "We're too busy to mess with that and also if someone buys it and they misuse it and they have to go to court, then there's the problem of us having to hire a relief pharmacist to come down here to work while Lenny takes off to go testify or sit in court for half a day."

Johnson said the last time a box of pseudoephedrine was sold was two months ago.

"If they clearly are not buying it for the purpose that's intended, then it usually comes out to them making an excuse of oh that doesn't work or I don't have that much money," said Johnson. "We just don't need that. We don't need that problem in our community."

"We know people that work in bigger stores and they say they can just identify them as they walk in the door. They know exactly what they're coming in for," said Johnson.

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