EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)-- Policies for buying your typical cold medicine are changing in Wisconsin under a new law signed by Governor Walker.
“This law is targeted in that it allows the retailers or the pharmacies to share information with one another so they themselves can check the status of how often or how much pseudoephedrine a person is buying,” says Andy Falk, field operations supervisor for the West Central Drug Taskforce.
Right now, you must show an ID in order to purchase the behind the counter medication. Each month, people are allowed to buy up to 7.5 grams of pseudoephedrine. That's the equivalent of 3 boxes of 24 hour Sudafed.
“One way around these laws, is people who make or manufacture methamphetamine will actually have several other individuals that they will send out to stores to purchase cold,” says Falk.
Law enforcement agencies say this law will help curb the purchasing of products that include pseudoephedrine, one of the ingredients used to make methamphetamine.
“The ability of the retailers to observe these individuals in to kind of initiate their own investigation and put the pieces together right at the beginning, we're going to see an increase in calls from the retailers that are selling the medication to people and that will probably increase the number of meth manufacturing cases that we work on from a law enforcement standpoint,” says Falk.
“It helps pharmacists be able to say oh ok if I’m going to give this person Sudafed, let me see if they were at a different pharmacy 5 blocks away,” says Carleigh Olson, health educator with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department.
Health officials say this sharing of information with all pharmacies is necessary to stop this meth epidemic from spreading.
“In Eau Claire we do have a problem with meth just like many of the northern counties and this is just another tool for professionals to use to help try and prevent access to these medications,” says Olson.
Pharmacies in all but ten states are currently using the system. This online system will be free for all pharmacy's to use.