Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act


From Rx-wiki

Above are some examples of products kept behind the counter at pharmacies since they contain pseudoephedrine.
The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 (CMEA) was signed into United States law on March 9, 2006 to regulate, among other things, retail over-the-counter sales of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine products. Retail provisions of the CMEA include daily sales limits and 30-day purchase limits, placement of product out of direct customer access, sales logbooks, customer ID verification, employee training, and self-certification of regulated sellers. The CMEA is found as Title VII of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005.

Ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine are precursor chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine or amphetamine. They are also common ingredients used to make cough, cold, and allergy products. Passage of the CMEA was accomplished to curtail the clandestine production of methamphetamine. States that have enacted similar or more restrictive retail regulations have seen a dramatic drop in small clandestine labs.

The Federal statute included the following requirements for merchants who sell these products:

  • A retrievable record of all purchases identifying the name and address of each party to be kept for two years.
  • Required verification of proof of identity of all purchasers
  • Required protection and disclosure methods in the collection of personal information
  • Reports to the Attorney General of any suspicious payments or disappearances of the regulated products
  • Non-liquid dose form of regulated product may only be sold in unit dose blister packs
  • Regulated products are to be sold behind the counter or in a locked cabinet in such a way as to restrict access
  • Daily sales of regulated products not to exceed 3.6 grams without regard to the number of transactions
  • A 30-day sales limit not to exceed 9 grams of pseudoephedrine base in regulated products
    • The law gives similar regulations to mail order purchases, except the monthly sales limit is only 7.5 grams.

The DEA does report a decrease in clandestine methamphetamine labs since the passage of the CMEA, but nothing is without controversy, just look at the very first arrest under this act:

In September 2006, Tim Naveau was arrested and charged with a Class-B misdemeanor for purchasing Claritin D. Naveau takes one tablet of Claritin D each day to combat allergies, and his teenage son is also an allergy sufferer. Minors are not permitted to purchase pseudoephedrine under the law. Naveau had gone over the legal limit for pseudoephedrine when he purchased extra Claritin D to give to his son before he attended church camp.

See also

Federal pharmacy law
Drug Enforcement Administration


  1. Pharmacy Times, An Overview and Update of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, Virgil Van Dusen , RPh, JD and Alan R. Spies , RPh, MBA, JD, PhD,
  2. Drug Enforcement Administration Office of Diversion Control, Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act 2005,
  3. Wikipedia, Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act 2005,