Pseudoephedrine Manufacturers, Alabama Officials Launch Anti-Smurfing Initiative

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), which represents makers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, joined Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, Drug Task Force Leader Rob Savage, and other leaders to launch the state's new voluntary retail Anti-Smurfing Campaign. This initiative educates potential "smurfers" -- those who buy pseudoephedrine and sell the product to another to manufacture methamphetamine -- on the consequences of making an illegal purchase.

"CHPA is proud to partner with Attorney General Strange and other Alabama leaders in this important initiative," said Scott M. Melville, president and chief executive officer of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. "CHPA is committed to helping law enforcement officials and retailers combat the illegal diversion of medicines with pseudoephedrine. While real-time, stop-sale technology helps law enforcement track smurfing behavior and make arrests, it is also important to inform potential smurfers that their unlawful actions have severe consequences."

Law enforcement recognizes that in an attempt to circumvent the law, some hardened criminals approach third parties to purchase pseudoephedrine for them. While some meth cooks may understand they can go to jail for their illegal behavior, individuals who purchase these medicines for others for payment may be unaware that their behavior can lead to prison time.

The anti-smurfing initiative is a public-private partnership that offers all Alabama pharmacies posters and tent cards to place at the retail counter. CHPA tested a range of anti-smurfing messages and posters, and the research affirmed that these materials successfully educate potential smurfers about the consequence of illegal purchases.

SOURCE Consumer Healthcare Products Association