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WASHINGTON — West Virginia has become the 19th state to require pharmacists and other retailers to be connected through the National Precursor Log Exchange system with the passage of legislation that requires real-time, stop-sale technology to enable the state's pharmacists to block illegal pseudoephedrine purchases right at the point of sale and provide law enforcement with up-to-the minute criminal data.
The state legislation — Senate Bill 437 — was authored by governor Earl Ray Tomblin and sponsored by Senate president Jeffery Kessler (D-Marshall) and Sen. Mike Hall (R-Putnam). The measure will now head to Gov. Tomblin's desk for his signature. NPLEx is designed to fight against methamphetamine production and has blocked tens of thousands of illegal sales across the country. The system targets meth criminals while protecting law-abiding consumers' access to safe and effective medicines containing pseudoephedrine.
The passage of the legislation was praised by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.
"Gov. Tomblin, Sens. Kessler and Hall, and the West Virginia legislature are to be commended for choosing a proven method for curbing methamphetamine production that targets criminals and protects responsible consumers' access to popular and reliable cold and allergy medicines," CHPA CEO Scott Melville said. "Once Gov. Tomblin signs SB 437 into law, West Virginia will become the 19th state to implement real-time, stop-sale technology that gives law enforcement officials the upper hand against meth offenders. Passage of SB 437 is a significant victory for West Virginia citizens, employers, law enforcement officials and healthcare providers."