Editor,

Methamphetamine is and remains among the most dangerous drugs available in our communities. That said, in recent years, we have seen the number of clandestine meth labs substantially decrease throughout Alabama.

One of the primary reasons for this dramatic change is the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx). In order to make meth, meth cooks use pseudoephedrine (PSE), a common ingredient in cough and allergy medication.

Currently, NPLEx is used in 33 states across the country, including Alabama.

In our state alone, NPLEx has blocked the sales of PSE 30,000 boxes from reaching the hands of potential criminals and meth cooks just in the first half of 2016.

Not only has the program aided law enforcement, NPLEx is also valuable for what it does for consumers. It allows law-abiding Alabamians to buy medicine that they need over the counter in order to relieve cold and allergy symptoms.

This helps to save time, money and convenience that would be lost by needing to go to the doctor for a prescription because of a very basic illness.

During National Pharmacy Week, it is important to commend the efforts of the pharmacists in our state for their participation in this program.

They are on the front lines in fighting meth production. Their use of NPLEX has kept PSE out of the hands of many criminals while preserving access to these needed medicines for law-abiding consumers.

In fact, due to their efforts, meth labs are down by more than 80 percent in our state.

It is with that in mind that I would like to thank the pharmacists throughout our state who have been an important player in trying to curb the meth problem while still allowing consumers freedom to purchase the products they need.

Steve Marshall, District Attorney

27th Judicial Circuit

smarshall@marshallda.org

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