Iowans purchasing drugs containing pseudoephedrine may find themselves waiting at the pharmacy counter a little longer. A new electronic tracking system is designed to limit sales of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Dave Henning, pharmacy manager at a HyVee store in Iowa City, says the new system requires customers give pharmacists a photo identification card. The pharmacist then enters in the name, address, date of birth and list of products that are being purchased.

“It gives you real time information on people purchasing pseudophed,” Henning said. “It gives you a green check for ‘good to sell’ or (a red flag for) ‘not good to sell.'” The idea is to prevent meth-makers from pharmacy hopping to purchase large amounts of the drug.

“In the big picture, it’s a good thing, but it does add time to purchasing,” Henning said. Detective Shane Chandler, a member of the Johnson County Drug Task Force, says law enforcement officers can now access electronic reports of who purchased drugs at what location and when.

“I think what it will do is stop them from violating the law,” Chandler said. “By no means do I think it will stop them from purchasing pseudophed.” The legal limit of pseudoephedrine is 3,600 milligrams in a 24 hour period or 7,500 milligrams in a 30 day period.

 Henning says checking out at pharmacies will also get faster as new barcode scanners will soon be installed to automatically enter information from a photo identification card to the database.

By Jami Brinton, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids