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APhA-ASP Proposal 2005.4 Limiting the Sale of Methamphetamine Derivatives

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by Caverject, 02.28.05.

?

Yes or No

  1. Yes

    6 vote(s)
    40.0%
  2. No

    9 vote(s)
    60.0%
  1. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    APhA-ASP supports federal legislation that monitors and regulates the sale of pseudoephedrine-containing or other drug products used in the unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine or other illegal substances with the potential for abuse.

    Background Statement:
    Methamphetamine is a powerful and addictive CNS stimulant that is increasingly being illegally manufactured and abused in the United States. Use of methamphetamine is continually growing in the US, as evidenced by federal legislation passed 1996 (Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act) and in 2000 (Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act). Over the last four years, there have been over 31,000 methamphetamine production operations seized in the United States by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

    Methamphetamine is manufactured using pseudoephedrine, a drug commonly found in OTC products. Because pseudoephedrine is easily accessible, it is imperative that federal legislation be enacted to uniformly and effectively monitor and regulate the sale of these products. By monitoring and regulating the sale of OTC products containing pseudoephedrine, we can help to reduce the amount of methamphetamine produced and identify individuals who may be manufacturing methamphetamine. The creation of a uniform federal system would enable state governments to effectively prevent the exploitation of any disparities in the system.

    While the Resolutions Committee feels that this issue is time sensitive, we would like to expand the policy so that it may be utilized to prevent the future illegal manufacturing of illicit substances using OTC drug products.
     
  2. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    I don't support anything that monitors! It leaves too much of a gray area for enforcement.
     
  3. rxgal8

    rxgal8 Senior Member

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    I voted no. I doubt there is much that can be done with this issue. Where I worked at, patients weren't allowed to ring up more than a certain number of OTC products containing pseudoephedrine on the same bill.
     
  4. ultracet

    ultracet 1K Member

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    come on APhA 3rd class!!!!!!

    Here our mandated behind the counter sudafed means its at customer service (grocery store) with the tobacco
     
  5. DownonthePharm

    DownonthePharm Chillin' n Fillin'

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    Im not in pharm school but Ill respond anyway.

    I live in Oklahoma and in April 2004 they started regulating tablet sales of pseudoephedrine. While I poo-poo'd the idea at first it really has made an impact. Law enforcement agencies have seen about an 80% drop in meth-lab seizures.

    The bad thing is that the prices for all the pseduoephedrine containing products have gone up a few dollars because of having to keep them behind the counter and using pharmacists time to check ID, etc.

    Its a bit of a pain in the rump to sign for cold pills but its worth it if it keeps people from blowing things up, endangering their children by cooking meth with them around, and so on....
     
  6. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    I don't have a problem regulating the drug. I have a problem with monitoring. The other problem is, what if you live on a one stop light town with the nearest pharmacist 80 miles away? Then what? Just a thought
     
  7. DownonthePharm

    DownonthePharm Chillin' n Fillin'

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    Then you buy the liqui-caps. Those are still available OTC. Apparently only the tablets are recognized as good meth precursors.
     
  8. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    This article is a good reason why I am against it. I am going to purpose a change in wording cause in principle this is a good proposal minus monitoring.

    Pharmacist convicted of distribution of pseudoephedrine to manufacture methamphetamine

    A pharmacist who owned and operated the San Jacinto Pharmacy in San Jacinto has been convicted of distribution of pseudoephedrine with the knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

    Following a three-week trial in United States District Court in Riverside, Jae Gab Kim, 59, of Redlands, was found guilty Friday afternoon of three counts of illegally distributing pseudoephedrine, with knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine, a violation of federal narcotics law.

    Kim operated the San Jacinto Pharmacy for more than 20 years until 2003, when he surrendered his California pharmacy license and transferred the business to his son. The evidence at trial showed that Kim had been advised by the California Board of Pharmacy in the late 1990s that there was a significant problem with pseudoephedrine being diverted to the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine. Kim himself had contacted law enforcement officials on a number of occasions in the late 1990s to report individuals he believed were buying pseudoephedrine from his pharmacy to make methamphetamine.

    In early 2000, a California state law went into effect that limited sales of pseudoephedrine to 9 grams - or 150 60 mg. pills - per transaction. Though Kim adhered to the letter of the 9-gram-per-transaction limit, his sales of pseudoephedrine skyrocketed more than 20 times during the first seven months of 2000. Kim regularly sold consumers generically labeled, 100-count bottles of 60 mg. pseudoephedrine pills that typically are used by pharmacists to fill prescriptions. His average sales rose to about 24 of these bottles per day. Kim’s former cashier testified that about half the people purchasing a bottle would also purchase two 24-count boxes of 60 mg. pseudoephedrine tablets. Most of these customers who purchased a bottle and packages of pseudoephedrine would buy little else, and some customers bought pseudoephedrine every day or every other day.

    The evidence further showed that Kim averaged a $2.60 profit on his average prescription sale, but he made a $6 profit on each of the bottles of pseudoephedrine. Kim sold about 5,000 bottles of 60 mg. 100-count pseudoephedrine in 2000, and the expected $30,000 profit was not reflected on financial statements he proffered in his defense at trial. A representative of Kim’s wholesale distributor testified that approximately 15 other pharmacies in the region had purchased a total of two 60 mg. 100-count bottles during the same time period.

    Kim is scheduled to be sentenced on August 2 by United States District Judge Robert J. Timlin. At sentencing, Kim faces a potential sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each count, meaning his maximum possible sentence is 60 years.

    The case against Kim is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Group, the California Pharmacy Board and the Allied Riverside Cities Narcotics Enforcement Team, or ARCNET. http://www.usdoj.gov




    *
     
  9. GravyRPH

    GravyRPH Senior Member

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    And why would this make you against it? *confused*



     
  10. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    Because it is a spin.... later on the article states

     
  11. GravyRPH

    GravyRPH Senior Member

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    Yes, but he was clearly selling an excessive amount of pseudoephedrine. Do you really think he didn't know that? Sometimes, just because you follow the letter of the law does not mean you aren't doing something illegal. In this case, "knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine, a violation of federal narcotics law."

    I just don't see how this relates. You are going to have pharmacists who are going to sell Sudafed in large quantities even if they are kept behind the counter and avoiding the intent of the law, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't work in the grander scheme of things at responsible pharmacies.
     
  12. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    He was within the legal limits of the law. The basis of what he was convicted on was subjective. I know what he did may not seem kosher to everyone, it doesn't to me either, but the fact of the matter is, he followed the law. Should we also take away licenses from pharmacists that dispenses oxycontin to a known street vendor that presents a valid prescription from a doctor? If the government thinks the local population is producing meth, maybe they should enforce a city ordinance and reduce the amount you can sell frm 9 grams to 4 or 2??
     
  13. GravyRPH

    GravyRPH Senior Member

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    Yes, if the pharmacist knows it's a street vendor. In that case, the prescription is not a valid prescription and he would be illegally filling it. The problem is in the knowledge of the wrongdoing. This guy knew where the sudafed was going and therein lies the illegality (at least that is what the court concluded).
     
  14. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    But who are we to judge someone's character? The guy could be in legitimate pain.

    Did he really know or was he too blinded to see that by the profits rolling in? I have no doubt this pharmacist is a little shady, but he followed the law. I think if it's that serious of a problem, and it is, the 9g limit should be reduced significantly.

    Gravy...I am glad we are having this discussion. I think this will be the hotly contested proposal like last year's diversity education proposal.

    -C~ject
     
  15. GravyRPH

    GravyRPH Senior Member

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    I'm not judging anything. You told me he was a street vendor. I think the pharmacist would be legally responsible if he knew he was selling the oxycontin and not taking it for his legitimate pain. That would be a rare occurence.


    I don't personally know, but the court determined that he did through a trial of his peers. And again, therein lies the problem. Forget about the 9gram part of it. Yes, he DID follow that part of the law, but he ran into a problem when he knowingly sold legal quantities for illegal production of methamphetamine. If anything, this should be a wake up call to not be blinded by profits at the detriment to your self and community.
     
  16. GravyRPH

    GravyRPH Senior Member

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    For some reason I can't figure out how to edit my message (when I click edit it just brings me to the delete screen-nevermind, it's working now), but I misinterpreted your hypothetical scenario. You were saying the street vendor was actually going to legitimately use the Oxycontin for his pain. In that case, the pharmacist would be legally filling a prescription. I don' think this was the case of the Sudafed pharmacist, in that, he was determined to be knowingly providing medication for illegal use.
     
  17. AmandaRxs

    AmandaRxs Smile like you mean it

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    Today's Pharmacist's Letter might calm Caverject's concern. I don't want to get in trouble with them by reproducing the entire article, but it says....

    "Pfizer is now promoting Sudafed PE, a new version that DOESN'T contain pseudoephedrine. Sudafed PE contains phenylephrine instead. More and more states will restrict sales of pseudoephedrine, to curb diversion to meth labs....."


    "Pfizer's decision to market Sudafed PE results from the current and ongoing problem of methamphetamine manufacturing using pseudoephedrine as a chemical precursor. Pfizer will continue to market Sudafed with its pseudoephedrine content. This action enables Pfizer to maintain an overt "front shelf" presence of its Sudafed PE product wherever over-the-counter products are sold. At the same time, Pfizer retains the broad availability of Sudafed even in states requiring pseudoephedrine product storage behind-the-counter. Sudafed PE is currently available at the wholesale distribution level."
     
  18. ultracet

    ultracet 1K Member

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    I know this isn't exactly in the scope of the conversation.. but Gravy said "jury of his peers" now.... As a future pharmacist, i would be more than willing to serve on a jury in a case however would probably not be chosen b/c of expertise....

    That being said... how many health care professionals are actually on jurys with a health care professional being tried?

    Is it really a jury of "peers"?
     
  19. GravyRPH

    GravyRPH Senior Member

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    That is why you have expert testimony. It would be infeasible and likely unfair to have the jury made up only of members of the profession that is being tried.
     
  20. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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  21. ultracet

    ultracet 1K Member

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    that is true.... however i would like at least 1 per jury
     
  22. AmandaRxs

    AmandaRxs Smile like you mean it

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    I think it's pretty common for juries to be made up of lower educated / blue colar workers. Both the defense and prosecution want people who are easily led, and who also don't think out of the proverbial box.
     
  23. DownonthePharm

    DownonthePharm Chillin' n Fillin'

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    a jury is 12 people who arent smart enough to find a way to get out of jury duty...

    :laugh:
     

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