6/21/2010 : LSA partners to crack down on methamphetamine with new initiative
Louisiana Sheriffs are proud partners in a new initiative in the war on methamphetamine:  the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx), a multistate electronic tracking program that enforces purchase limitations of decongestant pseudoephedrine or PSE, (a key ingredient in methamphetamine) in real-time at the point of sale.  Louisiana has become one of the first two states along with Kentucky to adopt the new system, with at least ten states already following suit.

NPLEx is provided by the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) with technology provided by Appriss, a software consulting company that serves criminal justice agencies across the country.  The program is being entirely funded by cough-cold manufacturers.  Consequently, states like Louisiana that are offered NPLEx can deploy and support the system without the use of government funds. 

Governor Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana Legislature have made this possible through legislation written by Representative Fred Mills and supported by Governor Jindal, the legislature, the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association (LSA), the Louisiana State Police, and the Louisiana Pharmacy Board. 

“This is a critical tool to help crack down on the sale of drugs that are used to produce meth,” Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “More importantly, the database will help keep our children safe and rid our communities of this devastating drug.”

Hal Turner, executive director of the LSA, said he is looking forward to being a part of this effort.

“This is a system that we have seen early on that really works, and through our years of experience with narcotics investigations and cooperation with Louisiana State Police, we are confident that this program will prove to be a valuable asset and phenomenal tool,” Turner said.

Michael Ranatza, assistant executive director of the LSA, emphasized the importance of partnerships in getting the program running.

“None of this would be possible without the diligence and hard work of State Representative Fred Mills and we are thankful for all that he has done,” said Ranatza.

Rep. Fred Mills Jr., D-St. Martinville, who is also a board certified pharmacist, said, “I am very proud to be a part of this worthwhile effort.  The pharmacy community is committed to stand shoulder to shoulder with the law enforcement community to get these dangerous drugs off our streets.”

The benefits of the new system lie in its real-time capabilities.  In the past, most pharmacies maintained paper logs to track PSE buyers.  It was extremely difficult for retailers to share information from store to store.  Meth producers avoided exceeding the legal limit in any one store by visiting multiple stores, sometimes travelling from state to state. 

With the new system, when a customer attempts to purchase these particular medicines the pharmacy scans their state driver’s license or other valid government-issued identification and their information is electronically entered into the secure multistate database. 

Should the purchase exceed the federal rules of 3.6 grams per day and/or 9 grams every 30 days, a message recommending denial of sale is sent instantly to the retailer and law enforcement is notified.  Law enforcement can access the database at any time.

Col. Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent, said he is looking forward to using the tracking system.

“We have one of the worst problems in the country in terms of meth production,” Edmonson said.  “We will continue to work with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners across the state.  This is an additional tool that will allow us to continue our efforts and further our partnerships in the fight against drugs,” Edmonson said.

Both law enforcement and pharmacists believe that this new program will bring tremendous changes for the better in the way sales of PSE are tracked.  Through this partnership, Louisiana will move one step closer to eliminating this dangerous drug from its communities.

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