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Thumbs up: Investigation on meth ingredients is much needed

Jul. 17, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Some common cold medications sold in drug stores across the region contain pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the making of illegal methamphetamine.

Clearly some of that inventory is being diverted for illegal uses -- but how much? And should the drug companies that make and distribute these cold medications have some responsibility for monitoring those illegal uses?

Del. Don Perdue of Wayne County, who is chairman of the Health and Human Resources Committee, thinks it is time to take a closer look at the situation.

"The statistics are piling up," Perdue told the Charleston Gazette. "This problem is getting bigger and bigger in a negative way on a daily basis."

Perdue has written to Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, asking the state's lawyer to investigate the sales of pseudoephedrine and hold manufacturers more accountable.

While drug distributors cannot be watching the counter in every drug store, they can be watching the sales figures on these heavily regulated drugs. Are there locations that do abnormally high volumes in pseudoephedrine? Are there locations that have upticks in sales?

Certainly with other prescription drugs, investigations have shown that some outlets were selling huge quantities of drugs, which should have been a red flag. But distributors did not seem to notice.

Perdue has pointed to an important gap in the efforts to combat meth labs. We encourage the attorney general to step up the scrutiny on companies that are dumping large volumes of dangerous drugs in our state.

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