VIRGINIA METHAMPHETAMINE PRECURSOR INFORMATION SYSTEM
19VAC30-220-10. Purpose and authority.
Section 18.2-265.8 of the Code of Virginia requires all pharmacies and retailers in the Commonwealth of Virginia that sell over-the-counter cold and allergy medications containing ephedrine and/or pseudoephedrine products (PSE) to participate in a statewide, real-time electronic PSE monitoring program for the purpose of tracking illegal PSE purchases. The Virginia Methamphetamine Precursor Information System is a web-accessed database available at no charge to pharmacies and retailers. Pursuant to the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 (CMEA) (Title VII of Pub. L. 109-177) pharmacies and retailers are currently required to capture certain data regarding PSE sales. This system enables pharmacies to easily enter the same PSE sales data currently being gathered online rather than recording the information into a manual log or in-store computer system. Data will be stored in a secure, central repository that treats the data collected as if it were HIPAA data. Furthermore, the collected data will be viewable (at no cost) by authorized city, state, and federal law enforcement in keeping with CMEA, the Code of Virginia, and these regulations.
19VAC30-220-20. Exemptions from electronic reporting.
A. Pharmacies are exempt from entering purchase information into the methamphetamine precursor tracking system when the sale of products containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine or their salts or isomers, or salts of isomers is sold pursuant to a prescription written by a licensed authorized practitioner.
B. A pharmacy or retail distributor pursuant to § 18.2-265.8 of the Code of Virginia that lacks broadband access or maintains a sales volume of less than 72 grams of ephedrine or related compounds in a 30-day period may be temporarily exempt from the requirement to report transactions to the electronic system if an exemption is granted by the Department of State Police pursuant to § 18.2-265.8 C of the Code of Virginia.
1. In order to be granted an exemption, a pharmacy or retail distributor must submit a written request on the Electronic Reporting Exemption Application provided by the Department of State Police that shall include the following information:
a. The reason for the exemption; and
b. The anticipated duration for which the exemption will be required.
2. An exemption from electronic reporting may not exceed one year.
3. A retailer may request additional exemptions by submitting the form defined in subdivision 1 of this subsection at least 30 days before the current exemption expires.
4. For all sales transactions involving the sale or attempted sale of a restricted product occurring during the period of an exemption at the time of the sale or attempted sale, the retailer shall record into a written logbook, the information required under § 18.2-265.8 A 6 of the Code of Virginia.
5. The written logbook of each sale or attempted sale shall be available for inspection by any law-enforcement officer or board inspector during normal business hours.
6. A pharmacy or retail distributor exempt from electronic reporting shall comply with the provisions of § 18.2-265.10 of the Code of Virginia unless exempted pursuant to § 18.2-265.11 of the Code of Virginia.
C. The Department of State Police will respond in writing to all exemption requests. The response will contain a determination if the exemption is granted or denied and either the duration of the exemption or the reason for denial.
19VAC30-220-30. Maintenance of and access to retail sales records of restricted products.
A. The retail sales records required under §§ 18.2-265.8 and 18.2-265.10 of the Code of Virginia shall be confidential pursuant to § 18.2-265.13 of the Code of Virginia. The department or other law-enforcement agency of the Commonwealth or any federal agency conducting a criminal investigation involving the manufacture of methamphetamine consistent with state or federal law may access data, records, and reports regarding the sale of ephedrine or related compounds.
B. The chief law-enforcement officer of an agency of the Commonwealth or a federal agency within the Commonwealth seeking access shall appoint and register an agency administrator with the system.
C. The chief law-enforcement officer and agency administrator shall ensure:
1. Only authorized employees with law enforcement need have access to the databases.
2. Each employee shall use only his unique password or access code to access the databases. Passwords and access codes shall not be used by other employees.
3. Each employee shall adhere to all state and federal laws regarding confidentiality.
4. Records related to accessing system logs are kept and retained for a minimum of two years.
5. Data, records, and reports must be destroyed in a manner that renders the record unidentifiable and nonretrievable.
6. The department is to be notified in writing within 30 days from the date when an authorized employee with access to the data, records, and reports regarding the sale of ephedrine or related compounds leaves the agency or when their duties no longer require access to the system.
D. Failure to strictly comply with the provisions of this section may result in loss of individual or agency access privileges.