Pseudoephedrine (PSE) products are sold in pharmacies and retail outlets in many forms; as a decongestant, they provide great relief from colds, sinus congestion and similar ailments. Unfortunately, PSE is also the main ingredient used in the illegal street manufacture of crystal methamphetamine, commonly called “meth”. Meth is a dangerous, highly addictive stimulant drug of abuse. In fact, there is a saying –“No PSE, no Meth”.
Accordingly, both the federal government and the state of North Carolina have placed limitations on how and how much PSE may be purchased. PSE, or products containing PSE as an active ingredient, sold in the form of a tablet or caplet must be sold in blister packs and stored behind a pharmacy counter. In addition, the retailer is required to maintain a record of the purchase. This record must include the date of the purchase, the name and address of the purchaser, and the quantity of the product sold. It must be signed by the purchaser who attests that the information provided is valid. The purchaser must be 18 years old and provide a photo ID showing his/her date of birth. The record is not public information; however, it is available for inspection by law enforcement officials. The intent of these laws is to allow consumers to have access to these products for legitimate use with minimal inconvenience while discouraging the purchase and use of these products for illegal use.
The Commission is authorized to add or delete specific pseudoephedrine products and modify specific storage, security, transaction limits, and record-keeping requirements that apply to particular pseudoephedrine products. Retailers involved in the sale of these products must require their employees to be trained in a program conducted or approved by the Commission. Forms for use by North Carolina pharmacy permit holders and the training program approved by the Commission can be accessed below.