AUGUSTA, Maine. (WABI) Last year, the NPLEx system blocked the illegal sale of more than 6,000 boxes of pseudoephedrine in Maine.
Appriss, the developer of that real-time retail blocking system, has partnered with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency to demonstrate how it works.
The tool is used by law enforcement in 34 states to combat meth production.
Wednesday, lawmakers in Augusta and pharmacy students at the University of New England took part in an educational seminar to learn more about NPLEx.
"The beauty of having all the pharmacies on board is there's really no loophole, and all of that information is bouncing off of each other to do compliance checks and that sort of thing. So when that ID is swiped or manually entered into our system, we're reporting back to the pharmacy in a split second a recommendation of sell or no sell based on that person's previous purchase history," said Krista McCormick, manager for NPLEx.
"Usually we already know who we're looking at and when we identify somebody, then that's when we go look at these records. And nine times out of ten it confirms what we've already suspected- that these people are in fact cooking methamphetamine. It's not a random 'let's just go open the phone book and look at people's names.' That's not how it works at all," said MDEA Commander Scott Pelletier.
Appriss reps say the NPLEx system ensures honest cold and allergy sufferers still have access to over-the-counter medicines.
Wednesday's demonstration is part of a statewide informational campaign to educate policy makers and the public on the system and why it's in place.