NPLEx blocked the Elkins man from purchasing the drug one time -- on May 16, after he tried to exceed the monthly limit.
Ten days later, he purchased pseudoephedrine again, according to the police report.
"There was no investigation that occurred because he was blocked," Perdue said. "He just waited a few days and bought it again."
The Elkins man bought pseudoephedrine five additional times -- in June, July and August -- before State Police arrested him, the criminal complaint says.
"He successfully bought this product legally to produce meth for eight months," Perdue said. "NPLEx did not stop him from creating a meth lab. And only after he was caught did the fact that he was using pseudoephedrine to make meth become known."
NPLEx has blocked about 3 percent of pseudoephedrine sales this year, according to state Board of Pharmacy data.
Gutierrez said police in other states use the tracking system to monitor people who have multiple purchases blocked. Police can flag meth suspects by putting them under a "watch" in NPLEx. The system automatically sends emails to law enforcement agencies when the suspect next buys the drug.
In other states, officers also have used NPLEx to break up "smurfing rings" -- groups of people hired to buy pseudoephedrine for meth cooks.
"It provides valuable, valuable information," Gutierrez said.
State lawmakers have twice introduced legislation -- in 2011 and 2012 -- to require a prescription for pseudoephedrine, better known under brand names such as Sudafed, Actifed and Claritin-D, but legislators rejected both bills after drug industry and retail store representatives lobbied against the proposals.
On Wednesday, 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.
"The number of arrests for manufacturing meth has doubled in the past year and continues to multiply," Tucker said. "There will still be problems, but prescription pseudoephedrine in West Virginia is a step we have to take to stop this plague and to win back our reputation as a state with reliable workers who want good jobs to provide for their families."
Gutierrez suggested that state lawmakers should instead pass a bill that would bar people convicted of meth-related crimes from purchasing pseudoephedrine. Several states already have such a law.
In West Virginia, pharmacies keep pseudoephedrine behind the counter, and customers must show a photo ID to purchase the drug.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.