CHPA Applauds California Senate Committee Passage of Legislation to Help Fight Meth Production

New system will prevent illegal sales of pseudoephedrine-containing medicines

Washington, D.C. (June 22, 2010)—The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) commends the California Senate Public Safety Committee for passing AB 1455. The legislation calls for the implementation of a statewide, industry-funded electronic tracking system (e-tracking) to monitor and block illegal purchases of over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE), a key ingredient that can be diverted to manufacture 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,” said Linda A. Suydam, president of CHPA. “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 is currently no mechanism in place to curb the practice of “smurfing,” which is when 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, will also 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. 

“California has a methamphetamine problem that extends to users, their families, children, communities, our border states, and California law enforcement," said Curtis Hill, San Benito County Sheriff. “The residents of California deserve a dedicated effort to dramatically and effectively combat methamphetamine production to improve our communities and AB 1455 will provide these results.”

AB 1455 is supported by the California District Attorneys Association, the California Sheriffs Association, the California Retailers Association, the California Pharmacists Association, the California Healthcare Institute, and the California Health-Systems Pharmacists Association and now moves to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration. If passed into law, AB 1455 would make California the 13th state to pass legislation requiring a statewide e-tracking system to block illegal sales of medicines containing PSE. 

Contact: Elizabeth Funderburk, 202.429.9260 (work) | 202.256.5677 (mobile)

CHPA is the 129-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements.