New Tenn. law to crack down on over-the-counter drug purchases - WKRN News 2

New Tenn. law to crack down on over-the-counter drug purchases

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

A new Tennessee law taking effect January 1, 2012 aims to curb methamphetamine production in the state.

This new law comes as the number of meth labs in Tennessee have dramatically increased. In 2010, law enforcement seized a record 2,082 methamphetamine labs, up 45% from the 1,437 labs closed in 2009, according to the state's methamphetamine task force.

The new law will monitor and block illegal purchases of over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth production.

Pharmacies will be required to enter the buyer's name, driver's license number and other information into the National Precursor Log Exchange, an electronic tracking Web site, which also sends the data to law enforcement agencies.

This system will alert pharmacies if the buyer is over the daily purchase limit of 3.6 grams or monthly maximum of roughly three boxes of medication or on the meth offender registry.

"It [National Precursor Log Exchange] will either say yes you can do it or it will give you a red X and say no you can't sell it to them," Riverside Village Pharmacy Owner Gary Williams told Nashville's News 2. "We can track them and we know who's buying it, where they're buying it. And, you only have one drivers license number, so there's no way to get around it."

For Williams, this new tracking database will be in addition to a system he already has in place for his pharmacy.

While this new law will crack down on illegal purchases of these drugs, it may make the purchasing process a little tougher for people simply trying to treat their cold symptoms.

"It just means that they're going to have a little longer process to the medication they need and more work for the pharmacy," Williams said.

Even though this additional step will mean more work for pharmacies, Williams believes it will be for the better.

"If we can eliminate one person not getting addicted to meth and not ruining their life, then it's worth it to me," Williams said.

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