Cold medicine tracking system helping cut down on meth - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cold medicine tracking system helping cut down on meth

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- The statewide tracking system that monitors the sale of over-the-counter drugs used to make methamphetamine is delivering results.

In fact, according to the state Department of Health, in it's first nine months the National Precursor Log Exchange has blocked about 1,400 purchases of different medications that can be used to make meth, including those that contain pseudoephedrine. That's about 82 pounds worth of cold medicine.

The system works by tracking the buyer's identity and not letting someone buy more than 3.6 grams per purchase, and no more than 9 grams in 30 days.

Local pharmacists say the program is easy to use and effective.

"It has been very successful in cutting down on the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine. It has done what it was supposed to do that that was cut down on illegal meth labs," said Terry Dahlin, a Yakima pharmacist.

Dahlin says the only downside is that the process takes a decent amount of time, which ties up a pharmacist, and keeps them from filling prescriptions.

But he says the benefits of the program outweigh those drawbacks.