Missouri database to track purchases of pseudoephedrine

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

KENNETT, MO (KAIT) – Lawmakers and law enforcement agencies over the next several months will be keeping an eye on a new statewide database that will obtain details on people purchasing pseudoephedrine-containing medicines.

Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in the illegal drug methamphetamine, highly addictive among its users.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon Tuesday highlighted the database, which is aimed at keeping the drug away from drug dealers and makers. According to Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder, the new database will help deter criminals from obtaining the product.

The state implemented new rules that require pharmacies and doctors to enter personal information into a database if they purchase the drug.

"If you or I go into one of the pharmacies and want to purchase pseudoephedrine, they document that, it's put on the record and then I decide I want to get some more pseudoephedrine, then I go to another pharmacy, they're able to pull it up and say hey, he just bought two packs of this earlier this morning," said Holder.

Mitchell's Pharmacy in Kennett Wednesday told Region 8 News that he stopped selling pseudoephedrine roughly two years ago. He said many of his employees felt threatened by people wanting the drug for illegitimate purposes.

"They started seeing repeat customers back before we did take it off the market and it became a problem," said Mitchell.

Kennett earlier this year passed legislation banning the sale of pseudoephedrine-containing products without a prescription. Cities across Missouri adopted similar legislation.

"It will be internet based. It will be at the counter. A person will have their driver's license, will have to have their driver's license, the clerk will swipe the driver's license to a database with the amount of pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient, included in the swiping," said Mitchell. "It's not an automatic red flag but it'll say this person has done this at more than one occasion."

Mitchell said he hopes the new rules will work as far as limiting access to the drug, but said criminals will find ways to work around the law.

"I think there was a time where we would write their name on a list, and after a while, we had that name three or four times, we'd call the police. They caught on to that and realized they couldn't do that anymore," said Mitchell. "You just never know about the inventiveness of human beings motivated to either make money or stay awake to do their second job at night."

Mitchell said pseudoephedrine is a good drug when used appropriately.

"There is a big push to try to stop the meth because meth is definitely a destructive drug that's ruining a lot of individual lives and a lot of family's lives," said Holder.

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