NPLex system blocks meth production - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

NPLex system blocks meth production

Posted: Updated: Feb 27, 2012 10:16 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The stop-sale system in Alabama has had a huge impact on the battle against methamphetamine.

It's the National Precursor Log Exchange commonly known as the NPLEx system.

It has blocked more than 93,000 boxes of meds containing pseudoephedrine from being sold; keeping nearly 220,000 grams off Alabama streets.

An undercover Montgomery County Sheriff's Department narcotics agent says even with the NPLEx system in place, meth is still on the rise. He along with other undercover agents have found evidence of several labs in the county. He says the ingredients are so easy to get.

"Go in Wal-mart and find everything you need to make a meth lab. The product can be made in roughly an hour in anybody's house or home," a Montgomery County Sheriff's Department narcotic agent said.

NPlex it's a database for law enforcement to connect with pharmacies across the country; accessing who's buying the key ingredients for meth: pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, how much and where.

Pharmacists says typically a box of cold and sinus medicine contains about 2.5 grams of pseudoephedrine. The max is nine grams a month. If you exceed that, the system blocks you.

"When the system first started, they couldn't block it. Now they will actually block it. One person wouldn't even be allowed to purchase 10 boxes anymore because that would put it at 24 grams," a Montgomery County Sheriff's Department narcotic agent said.

When you go into pharmacies like Adams Drugs on Copperfield Drive in Montgomery to buy these products, you show your ID and your information is entered into the NPLEx system.

"They way they've done it is a very easy way to track it since it's all electronic," Adams Drugs Pharmacist Stephanie Peavy said.

Since NPLEx was implemented in 2010, the narcotics agent we talked to says there's been hundreds of blocks in Montgomery county. He recalls one time seeing 20 blocks in one day.

"By doing that, they've made us another avenue by where we can target meth cooks and smurfers who are getting the pills for methamphetamine."

Narcotic agents and pharmacists fighting together to combat the meth epidemic, one block at a time.

There is proposed state legislation, House Bill 88 that would require people to obtain a prescription for products containing common cold and allergy remedies like pseudoephedrine.

The agent says he this will have little to no effect in combating the manufacturing of meth. In fact, he feels it will create more of an inconvenience for people just trying to get cold medicines.

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