OHIO VALLEY — One local pharmacy is taking steps to keep pseudoephedrine (PSE) out of the hands of those wishing to make meth.
“As a company, we’re okay with making a little less money if it means we are not selling Sudafed for the purposes of meth production. We decided we wanted to do the best thing for our customers and for the community.” Lynne Fruth, president and chairman of the board for Fruth Pharmacy stated in an impromptu press conference held in Charleston this week.
Fruth Pharmacy is carrying a new product in its stores in order to help prevent meth production called Nexafed. Nexafed delivers the same efficacy as other leading pseudoephedrine products - such as Sudafed - by temporarily relieving nasal congestion due to the common cold, hay fever or other upper respiratory allergies. But it does even more. Its Patented Impede® technology disrupts the extraction and conversion of pseudoephedrine to meth.
With the replacement of older generation PSE products, like Sudafed, with Nexafed, Fruth Pharmacy is attempting to take an important step forward combating meth abuse in the communities it serves while still providing cold and allergy sufferers with a safe and effective treatment. Patients will still get the relief they need, but those seeking PSE for meth production will have to look elsewhere.
At this time, Nexafed comes in 30 mg strength. As more strengths are developed, Fruth Pharmacy will be replacing all pseudoephedrine products in its efforts to combat meth production. However, Fruth Pharmacy is not taking away people’s medications without an equal replacement. For example, customers will still be able to purchase medications with PSE like Claritin and and Allegra D.
In 2006, to combat meth production, the government created daily sales limits and 30 day purchases limits of PSE products. Fruth also implemented the NPLEx system for real-time electronic monitoring of sales of medications with PSE. Many pharmacists and law enforcement officials have had success with the NPLEx system. Nexafed is one more tool to assist in slowing down meth production.
“The statistics for meth labs in West Virginia alone is staggering,” stated Tim Weber, director of pharmacy administration and procurement for Fruth Pharmacy. “If there’s a way to stop people from using medications sold in our pharmacies to produce meth, then we are interested.”
Also attending the press conference this week was Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito who toured the Fruth Pharmacy Express and facilities in Charleston and learned about Nexafed.