Kansas pharmacists, law enforcement team up to combat meth

WICHITA, Kan. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas State Board of Pharmacy on Wednesday partnered with independent druggist Dandurand, among others, on a pilot program designed to help combat methamphetamine through MethShield, a real-time, web-based tool that enables pharmacists, retailers and law enforcement officials to track the sale of medications which can be diverted to create methamphetamine.

The pilot program begins this week at 128 pharmacies and drugstores across 62 counties and will run for one year.

Kansas currently uses a written logbook system to track pseudoephedrine sales, which doesn’t allow for the sharing of real time information between pharmacists and law enforcement officials. MethShield alerts law enforcement in real time if an individual is attempting to make an illegal purchase.

“Obviously, reducing criminal activity related to meth production and distribution is a key driver behind this program, but MethShield will also be good for consumers and local pharmacists,” stated Michael Coast, president of the Kansas State Board of Pharmacy. “MethShield will ensure that consumers have access to the medicines they need and that local pharmacies will be able to sell these essential over-the-counter medications.”

MethShield is the United States’ version of a highly successful nationwide electronic log system initially developed in Australia. The number of Meth labs in the Australian state of Queensland—which is twice the size of Texas and home to roughly 4.2 million people—decreased by 37 percent in the first year MethShield was deployed in the state.

“MethShield has a proven track record of success and that’s because it was developed by pharmacists for pharmacies,” stated MethShield president Shaun Singleton.

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