CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Retailers Association on Tuesday issued testimony that the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) works in curbing the diversion of pseudoephedrine into methemphetamine. According to data obtained by the Kanawha County Substance Abuse Task Force, implementing NPLEx resulted in a 35% percent reduction in pseudoephedrine sales throughout the state.
"Today we have quantifiable proof that these laws, including the real-time pseudoephedrine blocking system, are indeed working," said Bridget Lambert, president WVRA. "The data show that even places like Kanawha County, where meth crime is traditionally the highest in the state, pseudoephedrine sales are down 68.5%," she said. "The NPLEx system, which went online Jan. 1, 2013, has had time to prove its value in monitoring and blocking pseudoephedrine sales."
According to a May 22 article in the Charleston Gazette, meth lab busts statewide are down 27% January through mid-April, compared with the same period last year, the WVRA noted.
"Overall, these developments are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement professionals and vigilance by the retail community. These results are a validation of the efforts of lawmakers who fought for the adoption of the NPLEx system and measures to strengthen our anti-meth laws," Lambert said. "There is no doubt that we still have a lot of work left to do in the fight against meth production in our state. Meth continues to take a heavy toll on too many of our families and communities. However, this news shows that the right approach to the meth problem lies in advancing sound policy solutions that crack down on meth criminals while protecting law-abiding consumers' access to the medicines of their choice without imposing higher healthcare costs and unnecessary time off of work."
There are additional steps lawmakers can take to further strengthen current meth laws, the WVRA noted. For example, a system that prohibits meth offenders from being able to purchase pseudoephedrine-based medicines has resulted in dramatic declines in meth labs in those states where meth offender registries have been established, including Alabama, Kentucky and Oklahoma.