DEA: You Can Still Make Meth From New Cold Drug
But Zephrex-D maker claims the amount of meth extracted is negligible
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2013 12:03 PM CDT
Medications containing pseudoephedrine go behind the counter.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(Newser) – The DEA is refusing to allow a new "meth-resistant" pseudoephedrine tablet to be sold over the counter, saying it can be used to make meth after all. The agency says government chemists were able to extract meth from Zephrex-D—now in 15,000 pharmacies across the US—so it must remain behind the counter, the AP reports. The company behind the drug, Westport Pharmaceuticals, counters that you can't extract any meth using the common "shake-and-bake" method, but acknowledges that a very small bit could be extracted with the aid of an old-school meth lab. But the quantity would be so small, a single dose would cost up $250 to $500—20 times the street value.

Westport has sold the drug in Missouri since December, and the Missouri Narcotics Officers Association say it hasn't found it in a single meth lab so far. "It's just not economically feasible for the meth-maker to use this product," says a local narcotics enforcement commander. But the DEA is sticking to its guns. "DEA commends the efforts of companies to develop products that deter the production of illicit drugs," it 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."

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Showing 3 of 20 comments
Sep 12, 2013 10:55 PM CDT
So in order to protect a bunch of losers that would be better off dead anyway, the rest of us get to suffer through the misery of a common cold. Thanks, "small government".
Sep 12, 2013 8:45 PM CDT
I can make a certain drug using vinegar as one of the basic chemicals. I wonder if they will ban it? I could use battery acid, as well, but the final product tends to be rather corrosive to the human body!
Sep 12, 2013 4:24 PM CDT
The problem is that meth came from academia and to some extent, still does. The guys and gals making up the new formulas were messing around with the old formulas when still in high school. Our chemistry teacher in high school would let us hang out back in the day and make a lot of potassium perchlorate from salt substitute. Then we found an old glass graduated cylinder of picric acid. Naturally we made our hasty escape with our KCIO4 and let the state bomb squad remove it. Then he started clamping down on our after class activities. No problem, the local chemical house where I purchased pool supplies for my pool guy operation had plenty of items on hand. We eventually grew out of it and blowing things up was not as much fun as the buds got married, had kids, and found real lives. But the guys who came after us first learned how to extract a chemical out of the first versions of those triangular Vic's cough drops. Well, it wasn't scientific as you crushed up several boxes of the drops and boiled it down in water, cooled in the fridge, and then filtered out the ppts. They injected the chemical like heroin and all I know is a kid died in the next town when he went crazy and jumped out a window of a 6 story building. Vic's found out and removed the ingredient. Was it pseudo-ephedrine? I really did not care, and never even checked.