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Editorial: Pharmacy takes a stand against meth

Nov. 13, 2013 @ 10:02 AM

It’s not easy for an independent pharmacist to make a go of it these days.

That’s why a decision by a Lincoln County fam­ily-owned pharmacy to stop selling all products containing pseudoephedrine is all the more commendable because for a month or so his business in those products was booming. In October, Philip Michael’s Meds 2 Go Express pharmacy had suddenly become the state’s top seller of pseu­doephedrine. That burst of sales came after a not-too-distant pharmacy at a national chain store had stopped sell­ing a particular brand in high demand from those who illegally manufacture highly addictive and dangerous methamphetimine. Michael appreciated the extra dollars, but he wasn’t pleased with much of the clientele purchasing the meth-making ingredient. He and some of his employ­ees described it as “scary,” according to a report in The Charleston Gazette.

So on Nov. 1, his Meds 2 Go Express stopped sell­ing all products containing pseudoephedrine, not just the ones preferred by those intent on making meth. “We felt that, even though we were making money, it wasn’t the right way to do things,” Michael told The Gazette. “So we stopped. Completely.” Michael’s experience of suddenly being swarmed by customers seeking the meth-making products illus­trates the seriousness of West Virginia’s meth problem. His decision to stop selling all of those products also should be an inspiration to other pharmacy owners.

If enough pharmacies followed Michael’s lead, per­haps retailers who are resisting efforts to make pseu­doephedrine products available by prescription only and manufacturers who have been slow to make these products tamper-proof might take some meaningful steps to combat the problem.
 

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