The Mississippi Legislature has passed a bill that would make it easier for citizens to purchase pseudoephedrine in the state, easing a 2010 law that made the popular cold drug by prescription only out of a want to stem the tide of meth.

SB 2119 passed the Mississippi Senate by a vote of 42-4.  It then passed the House 117-3. The bill states:

It is lawful for a pharmacy registered under Section 73-21-105 to sell or distribute to a person, without a prescription, products containing not more than three and six tenths (3.6) grams per day and not more than seven and two tenths (7.2) grams per thirty-day period of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, and it is lawful for a person to purchase products containing those ingredients from a registered pharmacy without a prescription.

Pharmacies will track the amount of the drug purchased by an individual, which will require them to use certain software to maintain adequate records.

The bill sets forth that a pharmacy must:

Use the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) system administered by the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, provided that the system is available to pharmacies or retailers in the state without a charge for accessing the NPLEx system, before completing the over-the-counter sale of each product authorized under subsection (1) of this section.  Before completing a sale of an over-the-counter material, compound, mixture, or preparation containing any detectable quantity of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, its salts or optical isomers, or salts of optical isomers a pharmacy or retailer shall electronically submit the information required under subsection (b) of this subsection (2) to the NPLEx system.  The pharmacy or retailer shall not complete the sale if the NPLEx system generates a stop-sale alert.  The system shall contain an override function that may be used by an agent of a retail establishment who is dispensing the drug product, and who has a reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm if the transaction is not completed.  The system shall create a record of each use of the override mechanism.

Maintain an electronic log of required information for each transaction, and require the purchaser of the package to be at least eighteen (18) years of age and provide a valid, unsuspended driver’s license or nondriver identification card issued by this state or another state, a United States Uniformed Services Privilege and Identification Card, or a United States or foreign passport, and to sign a written or electronic log attesting to the validity of the information provided for each transaction.  The record of each transaction must include the information from the identification card as well as the type of and government entity issuing the identification card used, the name, date of birth, and current address of the purchaser, the date and time of the sale, the name of the compound, mixture, or preparation being sold, and the total amount, in grams or milligrams, of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine being sold.

Maintain a written log or an alternative electronic recordkeeping mechanism if a pharmacy or retailer experiences mechanical or electronic failure of the required electronic tracking system until such time as the pharmacy or retailer is able to comply with the electronic sales-tracking requirement.  No person shall purchase, receive or otherwise acquire more than three and six-tenths (3.6) grams per day or seven and two-tenths (7.2) grams of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine within any thirty-day period.

The principal author of the bill is state Senator Joey Fillingane (R).