WASHINGTON The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Tuesday commended the California Senate Public Safety Committee for passing AB 1455. The legislation calls for the implementation of a statewide, industry-funded electronic tracking system to monitor and block illegal purchases of over-the-counter cold-and-allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient that can be diverted to “cook” methamphetamine.
“We applaud the Public Safety Committee for supporting a solution that will fight domestic methamphetamine production while maintaining consumer access to important cold-and-allergy medications,” stated Linda Suydam, CHPA president. “E-tracking is the only solution that will stop illegal sales of pseudoephedrine by providing a real-time, stop-sale function across all stores statewide.”
In California, there currently is no mechanism in place to curb the practice of “smurfing,” which is where criminals move from store to store to purchase illegal amounts of PSE to be used for the production of meth. AB 1455 would provide the state’s retailers and pharmacists with a consolidated, real-time electronic logbook — accessible only by law enforcement — that is more secure than current paper logs.
E-tracking, which has been adopted by 12 states nationwide, also will give local law enforcement officials a powerful investigative tool to track meth production across state lines. E-tracking allows law enforcement to find previously undiscovered meth labs and helps them identify meth cooks. Most importantly, AB 1455 preserves Californians’ over-the-counter access to the PSE medications they use and trust for cold-and-allergy relief while stopping illegal sales.