WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy has replaced certain single-ingredient pseudoephedrine products with the tamper-resistant PSE product, Zephrex-D, in all of its West Virginia stores, as well as stores in nearby states that are located within 15 miles of West Virginia's border, including Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The move, which was effective as of June 20, was implemented in more than 90 stores.
PSE is an active ingredient found in many cold, allergy, and sinus medicines to provide congestion relief but it can also be used in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine.
“We took this step as part of our long-standing commitment to assuring that PSE products are purchased at our stores only for legitimate medical purposes. By replacing the single ingredient products that are preferred in the making of meth with a tamper-resistant version in these stores, our customers continue to have access to a single ingredient PSE product for legitimate purposes,” the company stated in a statement sent to Drug Store News. “This step also follows our decision earlier this year to be the first pharmacy in West Virginia to follow the state board of pharmacy's recommendation to voluntarily reduce the amount of PSE products that may be purchased to just half of what is permitted under state law."
According to a report in The Charleston Gazette, Ride Aid and Fruth Pharmacy stopped selling single-ingredient pseudoephedrine medications in West Virginia last year. And Walgreens reportedly has plans to also stop such sales in the state.