Springfield, MO – As of today (Tuesday), pharmacies across Missouri will have access to a new, computerized system to tell them if a customer has reached a legal limit of purchasing pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is found in many cold medicines; it's also a key ingredient in making methamphetamine.
Here's how the new database works: Say a customer approaches the counter at a pharmacy, asking for cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine. She's asked for her photo ID. With the click of a button, the pharmacist can now bounce that customer's name off of the new electronic, multi-state database and find out whether that customer has already bought the legal limit of pseudoephedrine and find out when and where she may have made other purchases of the drug.
In Missouri, a buyer can only purchase can only buy 3.6 of medicine containing pseudoephedrine a day--that's the equivalent of 120 standard tablets. There's also a limit on how much a person can buy in 30 days' time.
Governor Jay Nixon was in Springfield, Missouri at the Greene County Sheriff's office to talk about the data.
"The weapon is a database that will link together the 1,300 pharmacies in Missouri to stop the illegal purchase of pseudoephederine, the precursor ingredient necessary to manufacturing meth," says Governor Nixon.
The governor said the database is being paid for exclusively by pharmaceutical companies. It was developed by Appriss Inc., a company based in Kentucky.
In 2009, Missouri saw over 1,700 meth lab incidents, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.