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Are you ready?

The time is here

The time is here! Administrative Rules have been finalized by the Board of Pharmacy and the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy to implement a real-time, statewide electronic tracking system of pseudoephedrine sales.  ALL pharmacies in Iowa selling a product containing pseudoephedrine will be required to participate in this tracking system by September 2, 2010. The grace period before enforcement of the law begins is very short, so it is vital that pharmacies get the program implemented into practice and all of the kinks worked out as soon as possible. The following is a brief overview and timeline of the implementation of the system. See below for links to more information.


A letter was sent to all pharmacies in Iowa from the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) on June 4, 2010 announcing implementation of this System.  The system being used is called NPLEx, or the National Precursor Log Exchange. NPLEx is largely sponsored by pseudoephedrine manufacturers, administered by the National Association of Drug Division Investigators (NADDI), and provided through the technology and software services of Appriss. NPLEx is entirely web based, requiring only a computer with an internet connection, but can also be integrated, at no charge, in any existing 3rd party point of service provider.

Pharmacies can begin connecting to the online system now.

How it works in pharmacies

Pharmacies enter all of the patient/purchaser’s information, either directly online or into their integrated point of service provider including customer’s ID number and ID type (for example 867XX5309 & driver’s license). A find button can be used to auto populate the remaining fields if the person is already in the system, or name, birth date, address, etc., can be manually entered. Then the product information is entered, by selecting a product from the drop-down table and entering quantity requested for purchase (for example Sudafed 12 hour (20CNT)). Remaining product details are auto populated. Once submitted, the system will either display a successful transaction complete or recommend denial. If the transaction is complete, the purchaser’s signature can be captured electronically by the point of service technology or the optional scanner, or the signature can be maintained manually in a log book with the corresponding transaction number. A summary screen provides the pharmacist with easy to read compliance information.


(The optional scanners will not be available at the initial implementation of the program, but contact ODCP if your pharmacy is interested.)


There are 3 options if the system recommends denial. The pharmacist has the ability to stop the sale, reattempt another purchase with a lesser gram amount, or select the safety override. Pharmacists in Iowa are not required to stop the sale if the patient has exceeded the legal purchase limits. Safety overrides should be used if the pharmacist feels threatened if he or she does not sell the product. NPLEx sends an automated alert to law enforcement if a safety override occurs. In the event the customer’s purchase attempt exceeds the legal purchase limits and the pharmacist denies the sale, a recommendation message will appear with a transaction number. The pharmacist can give the patient the transaction number and message, which directs patients to a website for further information regarding why they were denied sale.

How it works for law enforcement

On the law enforcement side, their system can run activity reports by selected parameters, or reports by individuals. Additionally, they can request to receive an email alert in real-time when a person of interest attempts a purchase. An interactive map can show law enforcement an individual’s purchase locations, attempted/blocked locations and inquires made.

Roll out process

Training and roll out is set to begin as soon as possible. Trainings for NPLEx are anticipated to begin in July and will include on-site trainings across the state (live 1 hour demonstration, managed by Appriss), web-based 45 minute demos, and a brief interactive video continually accessible through the web for quick summary information.


A second letter will be sent to pharmacies in July from the Office of Drug Control Policy announcing training opportunities.  Please watch your mail for this letter from ODCP, as it will contain many of the necessary details for getting started. 


  1. Legislation mandating e-tracking passed in Iowa (SF 237) March 2009
  2. Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) authorized to join NPLEx May 2010
  3. Effective Date & Kick-off to implementing tracking system  June 1, 2010
  4. NPLEx notification sent to all pharmacies & law enforcement (general overview, tentative training schedule & required dates) 30-45 days
  5. Appirss Deployment Team integrates technology with all pharmacies in Iowa 150 days
  6. Appriss Deployment Team provides training for all pharmacies 100 days
  7. Appriss Deployment Team provides training for all law enforcement agencies 125 days
  8. All pharmacies and designated law enforcement agencies ACTIVE 150 days
  9. Enforcement date September 1, 2010

More resources

See the official letter from the Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy

For a general overview:

For consumer details:

Notice of intended action: IBPE rules laws notice 100309 ch100.pdf

Contact Susie Sher at the Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy at (515) 242-6399 or at for questions regarding the state wide tracking system


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