NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee makes the third state this year, joining Kentucky and Nevada, that is considering state legislation to mandate the sale of pseudoephedrine as prescription-only. That could prove a big concern for the legitimate market for PSE products on account of the potential snowball effect such legislation could have on neighboring states. According to a government review staff in Kentucky, at least 97.8% of all PSE sales are bought for legitimate use.
However, another bill in Tennessee proposed to adopt the National Precursor Log Exchange, an electronic logbook system that enables law enforcement to track illicit PSE sales in real time. “In the four states that have fully implemented e-tracking technology, nearly 40,000 g of illegal PSE sales per month are blocked,” stated Carlos Gutierrez, a state government relations consultant at the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. The system also helps law enforcement find meth labs.
But proponents of the prescription-only solution may not be interested in finding more meth labs, even if they do exist. Many identify with the significant reduction in meth lab busts in Oregon and Mississippi, two states that currently require prescriptions for PSE purchases. And that’s part of what makes a prescription mandate an attractive proposition for state lawmakers: Decontaminating meth labs is an expensive proposition.