How to mail order pseudoephedrine

| Comments (4) | Pharma
The feds have cracked down on pseudoephedrine sales but it's still possible to order it from Amazon. Possible, but not convenient:
Due to recent DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency) restrictions on the sale of products containing Pseudoephedrine ("PSE"), the drugstore.com Web Store is now required to obtain additional information from customers who order PSE products.

The DEA now requires that we verify identification by seeing a copy of photo identification from all customers who purchase items that contain PSE. We are pleased to offer three methods by which you can satisfy this requirement:

1. You may scan or take a legible digital photo of your drivers license, or other photo ID issued by a State or Federal government, and email a copy to pse@drugstore.com. --Recommended--

2. You may fax a copy of your drivers license, or other photo ID issued by a State or Federal government, to the following number 1-866-764-4886 (poor quality or illegible copies will delay your order).

3. You may mail a copy of your drivers license, or other photo ID issued by a State or Federal government, to the following address:

I wonder what they do with that low quality scan of your driver's license, something that really isn't that hard to fake up, assuming you know someone's name and DL #, something which isn't exactly a secret. It seems like there are two possibilities. First, they could look it up in some central database to verify that really exist and live at the address that you're having stuff shipped to. Of course, if they do that, then there's no need to actuallly see your license, they just need the number to use it as a database locator and verify that it matches your address. The other alternative is that they just stuff it into some file folder somewhere. That doesn't seem very useful either.

What's more likely, actually, is that they're just complying with a generic requirement to show a driver's license that never really contemplated mail particularly well. Having to show a drivers license for in-person sales does make (some) sense (assuming that you think restricting pseudoephedrine sales is a good idea in the first place). It lets you identify who is buying the drug and therefore at least in theory prevent multiple sales. But it's not really clear it does anything very useful in this context.

4 Comments

Well, duh, it helps the identity theives.

Isn't that a worthwhile public policy goal?

Surely you, Eric, as a libertarian, ought to be pleased at the fact that lawmakers aren't able to fine-tune laws constantly to take care of cases like this. After all, you know full well that the result wouldn't be a libertarian paradise of laws perfectly adjusted to minimize government interference in the lives of citizens....

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