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ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- As retailers await final markup of federal legislation that would restrict the sale of products containing pseudoephedrine, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) here issued a statement yesterday advocating a consistent national standard that would preempt state and county laws and allow for the creation a national electronic tracking system.
"By overruling and simplifying a complicated patchwork of local and state laws that retailers are faced with implementing, the creation of one national standard would ultimately benefit retailers, law enforcement, and consumers," the statement said. "Without a national electronic tracking system, criminals will still be able to purchase restricted products -- without being detected -- by going to multiple pharmacies or retailers. One location will not know what has already been purchased at another store, much less in another town."
The trade group maintains that it will be impossible to establish a national electronic tracking system unless there is preemption of state and local law variations.
NACDS said it supports the following principles that "strike a balance between keeping valuable products available to legitimate customers and combating dangerous, illegal practices":
-- Preempting retailer requirements in state laws.
-- Keeping the sale of pseudoephedrine products available without a prescription.
-- Requiring sales of single entity products from behind the pharmacy counter and sold by a licensed pharmacist or pharmacy personnel.
-- Requiring sales of combination products from behind the pharmacy counter by January 1, 2007 and sold by a licensed pharmacist or pharmacy personnel.
-- Maintaining a written or electronic log of pseudoephedrine purchases to assist law enforcement efforts.
-- Limiting purchases to a reasonable quantity within a 30-day period.
-- Limiting distribution center storage requirements.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) represents the nation's leading retail chain pharmacies and suppliers. NACDS members operate more than 35,000 pharmacies, employ 108,000 pharmacists, fill more than 2.3 billion prescriptions yearly, and have annual sales of over $700 billion. Other members include almost 1100 suppliers of products and services to the chain drug industry.