New law tracks pseudoephedrine sales across state lines

TULSA - The fight against meth abuse continues into the New Year.

A new law went into effect Tuesday that tracks pseudoephedrine sales in a multi-state registry.

2News spoke with a local pharmacist about what you can expect.

A trip to the pharmacy counter with a cold could bring on some headaches in the New Year.

Oklahoma already places limits on just how much pseudoephedrine one person can buy-- 7.3 grams of pseudoephedrine a month, or 3.6 grams per day.

"This is 3.6 grams.," said pharmacist Chris Schiller of Economy Pharmacy in Tulsa, holding up a medicine box containing 15 tablets.

"They could buy one of these, and they would have to wait 72 hours later to buy anything else that contains pseudoephedrine."

The goal is to crack down on meth cooks abusing the system by hopping state lines. Starting Tuesday, Oklahoma pharmacists are connected to a multi-state registry.

"So the second that that sale is done, it's going to report to the system that we've sold that much pseudoephedrine at this time. To this one particular person," Schiller said.

Pharmacists like Schiller are tasked with enforcing the limits-- and sometimes blocking sales.

"It happens all the time. And some of it happens to normal people, some of it happens to people that are going to take that pseudoephedrine and make meth with it," he said.

Schiller says the law comes with some drawbacks for both customers and pharmacists.

"That does create a customer service nightmare for us, so really it looks like we're not providing service, but really our hands are tied," he said.

For example--
 
"Let's say you want to come in and buy some pseudo for your husband. You go home, both of you get sick, so you both take it. Well you come back a day later 'cause you both went through that box, and you want to buy another box. Unfortunately, even though you're just a normal person, I can't sell you another box," Schiller said.

Schiller says 21 states are now linked on the pseudoephedrine registry. Pharmaceutical companies are now developing new drugs that have a certain ingredient inside so they can't be abused.

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