OTC Industry Calls on Congress to Toughen Combat Meth Act

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Summary of CHPA Testimony—Linda Suydam, President

Electronic PSE Sales Tracking is the Best Solution

  • Today, the manufacturers of over‐the‐counter medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) are calling on Congress to improve the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act by requiring a unified, national electronic tracking system to block illegal sales of PSE‐containing medicines.

  • Ten states already have adopted this solution – passing legislation that requires retailers to use a state‐wide electronic tracking system for pseudoephedrine sales.

  • PSE manufacturers are funding the National Precursor Log Exchange, or NPLEx, a robust electronic tracking system for retailers and law enforcement. Through cutting edge technology, NPLEx is the only multi‐state system for controlling drug dispensing and offers robust functionality that is simply not available in the prescription drug arena. Key features of NPLEx include:
    • Effective enforcement of PSE sales limits through real‐time blocking of illegal sales.
    • Seamless connectivity from all stores in every NPLEx state, working across state lines.
    • Unified logging of purchase records already required by law.
    • Identification of meth cooks for law enforcement.
    • Secure data storage legally accessible only by law enforcement.
    • Faster sales transactions for retailers and consumers.
    • No new burdens on legitimate consumers.
    • No access charges for retailers, pharmacists, or law enforcement.

Maintaining Access to OTC PSE is Important for Consumers

  • For many consumers, PSE is the ingredient that works best for them.
  • PSE is the only oral decongestant available 12‐hour and 24‐hour sustained‐release formulations.
  • Despite current sales restrictions PSE remains the oral decongestant of choice for 15 million Americans per year.
  • PSE is a key ingredient in leading cold and allergy medicines like Sudafed, Claritin‐D, Zyrtec‐D, and a number of other brands and store label medicines.

Oregon’s Meth Lab Decline is Not Unique

The fact is that the meth lab problem has dramatically abated in many States in the West – with Oregon being the only state to impose a prescription mandate. (Percentage declines since peak: Arizona, 97%; California; 93%; Idaho, 94%; Nevada, 97%; Oregon, 98%; Utah, 99%; Washington; 97%).