The NPLEx data also shows that the tracking system -- part of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's 2012 substance abuse bill -- has blocked an increasing number of pseudoephedrine sales at Kanawha County stores.
In January, the electronic system blocked 217 boxes of the cold and allergy medication. Last month, NPLEx blocked 667 purchases, according to the data.
"The thing that stands out blaringly to me is that the stores that do have the highest volume of traffic through their doors and are therefore asked to sell their customer base pseudoephedrine -- because that's where they go to get their cold and allergy remedy -- also have the highest number of blocked sales," Lambert said. "Those number do correlate with each other."
In recent months, some Kanawha County law enforcement officials have criticized the statewide tracking system. Lambert said the latest numbers show NPLEx is working.
"It's showing a lot of blocks," Lambert said. "NPLEx is doing its job."
Kanawha County's total pseudoephedrine sales declined from 9,341 boxes in January to 7,653 boxes in August.
Lambert predicted those sales would decline more rapidly this fall.
Tomblin's bill sets monthly and yearly purchase limits for the drug. Many people who take pseudoephedrine for chronic allergies will meet their yearly limit this month, she said. Those customers can continue to buy the allergy medication if they get a doctor's prescription.
State lawmakers have twice introduced legislation -- in 2011 and 2012 -- to require a prescription for pseudoephedrine, but legislators rejected both bills after drug industry and retail store representatives lobbied against the proposals.
Last week, state Sen. Greg Tucker, D-Nicholas, said he would introduce a similar bill to make pseudoephedrine prescription-only. Oregon and Mississippi are the only two states that require a doctor's prescription to buy the cold and allergy medication.
In West Virginia, pharmacies now keep pseudoephedrine products behind the counter, and customers must show a photo ID to purchase the drug.
The task force plans to meet today at 9 a.m. at the Kanawha County Commission chambers.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.