New statistics show NPLEx continues to help law enforcement cut down on meth

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

8,744 boxes of cold and allergy medicine blocked in 2016

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos on Friday applauded the continued success of an online tracking system in significantly reducing the amount of illegal purchases of cold medications in Michigan and curbing the amount of meth use in the state.

Methamphetamine, or meth, is a powerfully addictive illegal drug that can be manufactured in homes using pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in cold medications.

“Our local communities have been especially hard hit by this drug,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The safest and surest way to protect our children and communities from the harmful impacts of meth is to stop a producer’s access to the main ingredient.”

Proos led the 2012 effort to have Michigan retailers and pharmacies consult the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) before selling products containing pseudoephedrine.

The National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators recently released the 2016 results from the system.

In 2016, the number of cold and allergy medicine boxes sold in Michigan decreased by 2.5 percent (or 57,138 boxes), and the number of boxes that were blocked from purchase by the NPLEx database increased by 11.5 percent (or 8,744 boxes).

The real-time, electronic tracking system is aimed at tracking and blocking illegal cold and allergy medicine purchases used to make meth. It is used to ensure buyers have not exceeded purchasing limits for pseudoephedrine and to allow law enforcement officers to identify suspicious purchases of over-the-counter medications.

“The system is helping stop meth producers from skirting the law by going from store to store buying up cold medications in small amounts at each location,” Proos said. “Most importantly, it has been effective in keeping our families safe and combating meth production without unfairly impacting a resident’s access to necessary cold medications.”