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State says new law helping in battle against smurfing
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Tennessee’s newly implemented law to block the sale of pseudoephedrine used in the production of meth has prevented 4,993 boxes of over-the-counter cold medication from hitting the street in one month.That’s the information being released by state lawmakers about the new system that’s been in place since Jan. 1.Cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine, such as Advil Cold & Sinus, Claritin-D and Sudafed, has been behind pharmacy counters since 2004. The problem was pharmacies were unable to communicate with one another so meth-makers could travel from pharmacy to pharmacy to stockpile pseudoephedrine in a process called “smurfing.”In January, the state required all pharmacies to start entering pseudoephedrine purchases into a computer database that keeps up-to-the minute information on who is buying pseudoephedrine and where. If a customer buys a pseudoephedrine product at Walgreens, it will show up in the system by the time that person tries to buy another pseudoephedrine product just a minute away at Stewart Pharmacy.“It’s definitely helping and the database will catch people who are smurfing,” said state Rep. Charles Curtiss.