CVS requesting ID for nail polish remover, in effort to curb ‘meth’ production

CVS pharmacy customers are being asked for identification when they buy nail polish remover, WPRI 12 News reports.

The policy, which has been rolled out across southern New England in the past few weeks, means customers must show ID and will be limited on the number of bottles of remover they can purchase, according to the station.

The drugstore chain says the rule is an attempt to curb the making of illegal methamphetamine, and issued this statement, according to the station:

“Because acetone is an ingredient used in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine, we recently implemented a policy that a valid ID must be presented to purchase acetone-containing products such as nail polish remover.  Our policy also limits the sale of these products in conjunction with other methamphetamine precursors and is based on various regulations requiring retailers to record sales of acetone.”


In Boston, journalist Rachel Rohr recounted for WBUR how her routine trip to a CVS for vitamins and nail polish remover was affected by the new policy.

According to her first-person account, Rohr says an error message appeared on the screen during her self-checkout.  She received a slip of paper that read, “Products containing acetone/iodine cannot be purchased at the self-checkout. Please see associate for assistance.”

“The saleslady overseeing self-checkout sprang into action and walked over to the register clucking, ‘New state laws, driving us crazy.’ Another sales associate chimed in, ‘Meth,’ and shook her head,” Rohr writes.

In an ironic twist, Rohr noticed that her newest bottle of the CVS brand polish remover had grown to 10 ounces from the 6-ounce bottle she had previously purchased.

Rohr contacted her local public health official, who assured her that Massachusetts state law does not require ID to purchase remover. Same with the FDA;  spokesman Christopher Kelly issued this statement:

“We are not aware of any FDA specific regulation of iodine or acetone sales other than those generally in place for all active or inactive ingredients in approved products.”

When contacted by Rohr, a CVS spokesman acknowledged it’s a store policy. “We are in the process of implementing this chainwide, beginning a few weeks ago. We had already been requiring ID in states where you must be at least 18 to purchase acetone products,” CVS’ Michael DeAngelis wrote, according to Rohr.

Click for the story from WPRI.