The West Virginia Retailers Association on Tuesday put out a press release touting the success of the state’s National Precursor Log Exchange, or NPLEx system, a real-time tracking system for pseudoephedrine sales.
The group pointed out the system blocked the illegal sale of about 9,900 boxes of pseudoephedrine in the first six months of this year, probably keeping it out of the hands of meth-makers. But check out this chart. While the system blocked 9,965 boxes from being sold, West Virginia retailers still sold 236,033 boxes of the meth-making ingredient.
As you can read in my story for today’s Daily Mail, Law enforcement officials say NPLEx is a disappointment.
“We want to stop sales. We don’t want to track sales. Once they’ve got their pseudoephedrine, it’s too late,” said Mike Goff, administrator of the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy’s controlled substance monitoring program.
In spite of the new tracking system, West Virginia has seen over 300 meth lab busts this year, according to statistics from the West Virginia State Police. Click the graph below for a larger view.
That big spike you see is Kanawha County. There were 103 meth lab busts in Kanawha between January and July, far more than any other county. Wood County ranks second, with 21 busts. Cabell had 19 busts, Putnam had 18 and Mason had 17 busts.
Finally, below is a county-by-county map featuring data collected by NPLEx between January and July. It shows the total number of pseudoephedrine, the number of boxes of pseudoephedrine sold and the number of grams sold, as well as the number of sales blocked, the number of boxes blocked from sale and the number of blocked grams.
Click on the dots to see the information.