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A story in Monday’s Gazette about CVS Pharmacy sales of cold medications containing pseudoephedrine overstated the number of purchases at the drugstore chain in West Virginia.

CVS sales dropped by 9 percent between March 2013 and last month, the company said Thursday.

The newspaper incorrectly reported a pseudoephedrine sales increase at CVS stores in West Virginia. The Gazette based its report on data provided by the state Board of Pharmacy and Appriss Inc. The data listed total pseudoephedrine “transactions,” which included blocked sales and customer inquiries — people asking at CVS whether they had exceeded monthly purchase limits on the medication, which can be used to make illegal methamphetamine.

A Gazette-Mail reporter and the Board of Pharmacy were unaware that inquiries were being counted and added to the transaction total.

In March of this year, CVS stores in West Virginia sold 4,946 boxes of pseudoephedrine, but reported 11,506 transactions — about 6,000 of which were customer inquiries and 500 blocked sales, according to the company.

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