Oklahoma pseudoephedrine law imposes new limits on consumers

A new law in Oklahoma placed new limits on consumers of pseudoephedrine today, placing the state among over 20 states who have adopted the use NPLEX tracking system. NPLEX, an electronic tracking system provided by the pharmaceutical industry, will be used by the state to track the purchase habits of consumers of cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine.

Under the new system, information about consumers and their buying habits will be added to a real-time database that is shared with other states that have adopted the NPLEX system.  Additionally, individuals purchasing products containing pseudoephedrine will only be allowed to buy 7.3 grams per month, 60 grams per year, and 3.6 grams per day. A single box of 10 pills containing pseudoephedrine equals about 2. 4 grams.

Previously, Oklahoma had set limits on pseudoephedrine to 9 grams per month and 108 grams per year.  Once a buyer has met their daily limit of 3.6 grams, they will also have to wait more than 72 hours to purchase more of the cold and allergy drug. The new law applies to all forms of medicine containing pseudoephedrine,  including dry tablets, gel capsules, or liquids.

Lawmakers hope that the new restrictions will keep meth cooks from obtaining the pseudoephedrine they use to manufacture methamphetamine. Law enforcement officers and others who opposed the adoption of the NPLEX system believe that methlab cooks will eventually circumvent the tracking system, as they have done in other states, through a process known as smurfing.



  1. Tom Elmore says

    So — help me understand this. This is Oklahoma’s “Christian Conservative” state legislature trying to save us all from cheap, effective allergy treatment — here in the allergy capital of the world? And this advances “freedom and liberty” and all that other stuff that they always talk about — how, exactly?

    It started out as an obvious joke — a bunch of idiot politicians trying to “look like they were addressing a problem” by addressing a mere symptom, and, in the doing, making life more difficult for the many, many allergy sufferers here. Now, however, when I go into my nearby Walgreens to buy pseudoephedrine, which I keep on hand and use year-around, I see the paranoia rise in the pharmacists and assistants behind the counter. They’re afraid of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs — as we all ought to be — because they know the quality of people who work there — people who should never be allowed anywhere near a job in public service.

    If the most recent primary election is any indication — rigged, as it was, to depress turnout by the state legislative Republican majority (jammed into the hot days of June) to smooth the way for the injection of “more of their kind” into elected government — things are going to have to get a good deal worse here before the people decide to throw their oppressors out and start over.

    Get it, and get it clear, folks, if you haven’t been paying attention: The meth problem in Oklahoma is not about allergy medicine, and it won’t be helped by making life harder for state allergy sufferers. The problem here is much, much more about the state’s metros sucking the economic life out of the our small town and rural areas. Of course, those who are pretending otherwise in state government are operatives of the big-town chambers of commerce, the real villians behind most of the state’s ongoing problems.

    • says

      Thanks for you comment, Tom. I agree that the “solution” that legislators in Oklahoma have decided upon is ineffective, except for the fact it has helped the pharmaceutical industry hold on to its profits. Tracking systems have done nothing to protect citizens. In fact, it has lessened their right to buy pseudoehedrine (pse), an over-the-counter drug, without the government, law enforcement,the drug industry, and pharmacies being privy to information about consumers, who are buying a drug that is legal to buy as an over-the-counter drug. Tracking systems, like the one that the pharmaceutical industry is offering to states like Oklahoma, have done next to nothing in the way of preventing meth cooks from obtaining the key ingredient they need to make meth.

      Children in Oklahoma have died in methlab fires and explosions. What’s it going to take before legislators implement the only method that’s been proven to have a significant impact on methlabs – a pseudoephedrine prescription law like they have in Oregon and Missisissippi? I think too many legislators are more concerned with being re-elected than they are concerned about protecting the health and safety of the citizens they represent, even when those citizens are children. Maybe that’s the problem. Children can’t vote.

  2. Sheila K says

    I just attempted to go buy my Claritin D. I am not a convicted felon. I am not an illegal drug user. I am not a crackhead, meth whatever nothing. 50 years old. and I was told that I had exceeded my limit. Really? I bought generic last time (which did not work) I have purchased 15 pills in a 30 day timeframe. and am out. But cannot buy more. I am going to assume their DB is not only asinine but faulty. I have heard several people state – they have bought maybe one box in last 3 months (oklahoma is the capital of allergies) — but was told when attempting to buy more – they could not. They must simply suffer. Who maintains this moronic database? As angry as I am right now not only by not having my allergy meds and not being able to breathe, but at being embarassed and treated as a criminal by someone who – no – it is not pharmacists fault — it is some idiot politician posing for photos and thinking he needs to do “something” to be re elected even if it screws his voting public. Who again maintains this moronic and faulty databse?

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