By Evan Anderson, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Starting Tuesday, January 1, if you buy medication containing pseudoephedrine, your pharmacist will have to run your profile through a multi-state registry. The new law, passed last year, was designed to keep better track of the medications beyond the state's borders.
The Oklahoma Board of Narcotics says meth cooks are exploiting the in-state registry, and simply traveling to bordering states like Kansas, Missouri, Texas or Arkansas and getting their monthly limits there. OBN is hoping a new national multi-state registry will put a stop to that.
"You cannot sell it without logging through the system," pharmacist Chris Phillips said.
Phillips just opened a new pharmacy on the southwest side of Oklahoma City, but says he has years of experience when it comes to the legal sale of pseudoephedrine.
"It probably makes the system more effective from someone that would go state to state to get pseudoephedrine," Phillips said.
"We know they're doing that, or they're sending other people to go across the border," said Mark Woodward, spokesman for with the Oklahoma Board of Narcotics.
Woodward says the new law will close that loophole, and hopefully the state will continue to see a steady decline in meth labs.
"It really started in 2008, that's when a new recipe showed up, called the one pot, or shake and bake meth lab cooking method, because we had knocked meth labs out about five years, several years," Woodward said.
Woodward says when medications with pseudoephedrine were taken off the shelf and put into pharmacies in 2004, there was a significant drop in meth labs. According to Woodward, well over 95 percent of the meth labs in Oklahoma were eliminated.
"And it was a big deterrent because meth cooks didn't want to go to pharmacies and leave a paper trail," said Woodward.
When new laws were put in place to tighten the use of the drug, Woodward says, that's when the crossing of state lines began.
It took about six months to get the multi-state NPLEX system in pharmacies across the state. Police in other states participating in the national registry say they're seeing positive results.
Right now, 17 states are using the multi-state registry and more states are expected to join the system.