Alabama takes statewide initiative on PSE-tracking

WASHINGTON —Alabama in March became the latest state to sign on for collective e-tracking of pseudoephedrine sales, making the Heart of Dixie state No. 10 to employ the system statewide.

The makers of PSE-containing medicines have created an industry-funded system that allows law enforcement to identify “smurfers,” or those who try to illegally violate limits in state and federal law on the amount of PSE-containing medicines individuals can purchase in a given period of time. E-tracking is favorable to cough-cold and allergy manufacturers fielding PSE as an ingredient because it poses no additional purchase barriers to consumers. State legislatures, such as that of California, had been considering the feasibility behind classifying PSE as a prescription-only medicine.

The e-tracking system also allows law enforcement officials to track would-be violators of PSE regulations in real time, enabling them to find meth labs that otherwise would have gone undetected.

According to a recent poll conducted by David Binder Research, more than three-fourths of Alabama voters supported the new e-tracking system. The poll also found that as many as 78% of those surveyed agreed that e-tracking will be “a huge help to law enforcement.”

The nine states that already have passed legislation and/or implemented e-tracking capabilities include Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri and Washington.

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