A cold and allergy decongestant sold nationwide has a new form of pseudoephedrine that some say makes it trickier to make methamphetamine from, but the Drug Enforcement Administration is saying uh-uh, you can still cook with that stuff and it shouldn’t be sold over the counter.
Seems the government chemists pulled a bit of a Breaking Bad and were able to make meth from Zephrex-D, and because they could do that, it shouldn’t be easy to buy, says a DEA spokesman, via the Associated Press.
It’s been sold in Missouri since December, and St. Louis company Westport Pharmaceuticals has now launched it in more than 15,000 pharmacies all across the nation in the last month.
The company says the medicine can’t be used for making meth very easily, no “one-pot” batches or “shake-and-bake” methods that use a soda bottle to mix up ingredients in homemade meth cooking. Thus far, officials haven’t found Zephrex-D in any meth labs.
Westport says that Zephrex-D is safe because when it gets hot, the pseudoephedrine becomes gooey instead of crystallizing into the stuff many of us have seen on TV. Even if someone could make a tiny bit of meth from it, says the company, it would cost so much — 20 times the street value — that it wouldn’t be worth it to produce that small amount.
“It’s just not economically feasible for the meth-maker to use this product,” said a narcotics enforcement commander in Franklin County, Mo., who has spoken to the Missouri Legislature on behalf of Westport Pharmaceuticals.
The DEA says Zephrex-D must stay behind the counter, however.
“DEA commends the efforts of companies to develop products that deter the production of illicit drugs,” Payne said in a statement. “While this particular company claims that their ‘drug delivery system provides a new and unconventional approach to combat drug misuse,’ this product can still be utilized to manufacture methamphetamine.”
DEA insists cold drug can be used in meth-making [Associated Press]