Published in the August 2006 Alabama State Board of Pharmacy Newsletter
On March 9, 2006, President George W. Bush signed legislation enacting the USA PATRIOT Act, Title VII of which is the Combat Methamphetamine Act of 2005. This federal law also addresses the sale and control of all non-prescription medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE), ephedrine (EPH), and phenylpropanolamine (PPA) and where it is more restrictive preempts state law. This includes gelcaps, liquids, and pediatric medicines. The following are the dates for the implementation of this act.
April 8, 2006 – Purchase Limits: limits the base product quantity one (1) person can purchase to nine (9) grams in a thirty (30)-day calendar month and 3.6 grams in a single calendar day. Mail order base product is limited to 7.5 grams in thirty (30) days. Non-liquid dosage forms (including gelcaps) must be in blister packaging or unit dose packaging.
September 30, 2006 – ID Requirements: Purchaser must present an identification (ID) card that provides a photograph and is issued by a state or federal government, or a document that, with respect to ID, is considered acceptable as noted in the Code of Federal Regulations.
Recordkeeping Requirements: The purchaser signs a written or electronic logbook and enters his or her name, address, and the date and time of the sale. The seller, (1) determines that the name entered in the logbook corresponds to the name provided on such ID and that the date and time entered are correct, (2) shall enter in the logbook the name of the product and the quantity sold, and (3) maintains each entry in the logbook for not fewer than two (2) years after the date on which the entry is made.
Retailer Liability Protection: A retailer who releases logbook information in good faith to federal, state, or local law enforcement authorities is immune from civil liability.
Product Placement: Affected products must be stored behind a counter or in a locked cabinet.
Training Requirements: Individuals who deal directly with purchasers must undergo training provided by their employer. Training certification is specific to location, not employee, and training re-certification will be required on a periodic basis to cover new employees. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to provide a uniform, comprehensive, training program for employees via an Internet site.
Other Provisions: A regulated seller should take reasonable measures to guard against employing persons who may present a risk with respect to the theft and diversion of EPH, PSE, and PPA, including asking employee applicants whether or not they have been convicted of any crime involving or related to such substances, or a controlled substance.
Penalties: Civil penalty of up to $25,000; and if committed knowingly, then imprisonment of up to one (1) year in addition to a fine to be determined by existing federal criminal laws.