BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (WLNS) – Part of Michigan’s fight against meth production is focused on increasing awareness about the criminal enterprise known as “smurfing” – the act of buying cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE), such as Allegra-D and Advil Cold and Sinus, on behalf of criminals who intend to use these products for meth production.
Today, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette was joined by Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, Eric Liu, Director of Professional Affairs of the Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA), and pharmacy owner Pierre Boutros at Mill’s Pharmacy & Apothecary in Birmingham to bring awareness to Michigan’s new Anti-Smurfing Campaign.
The Anti-Smurfing Campaign is an educational effort that targets purchasers of cold and allergy medicine where it will have the most impact – right at the pharmacy counter. The public–private partnership is carried out by retailers, pharmacies and community organizations across the country on a voluntary basis.
Schuette has long been taking action to help combat Michigan’s drug and opioid epidemic. Most recently, Schuette called for the Michigan Legislature to direct the $859,000 in proceeds from a settlement he negotiated with a pharmaceutical company towards opioid education and addiction prevention programs.
Schuette was also the Chair of the Regulation, Enforcement, and Policy Subcommittee for the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Taskforce, which in 2015 recommended a multi-faceted public awareness campaign be undertaken to inform the public of the dangers of abuse, how to safeguard and properly dispose of medicines, publicize improper prescribing practices, and reduce the stigma of addiction.