Former Republican Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert last week wrote an editorial for the Washington Times supporting the use of such tamper-resistant pseudoephedrine products as Acura Pharmaceuticals' Nexafed and Westport Pharmaceuticals' Zephrex-D.
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.
According to an economic impact analysis released Tuesday by Martin Kennedy, a former professor of economics who spent seven years on the faculty of Middle Tennessee State University, adopting a prescription requirement for pseudoephedrine products in Tennessee would result in an influx of more than 497,000 additional physician office visits at a direct cost of $44.3 million annually.
Acura Pharmaceuticals announced a study, published in the September issue of the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, that validates the ability of Nexafed to uniquely disrupt the extraction and conversion of pseudoephedrine into methamphetamine.
Pennsylvania last month became the 29th state to employ the National Precursor Log Exchange in the fight against the diversion of products containing pseudoephedrine into methamphetamine. State No. 30, Delaware, is expected to sign real-time stop sale technology into law this summer.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Wednesday applauded the Pennsylvania legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett for passage of House Bill 602, legislation requiring real-time, stop-sale technology to enable retailers to block illegal pseudoephedrine purchases at the point of sale.
Fruth Pharmacy announced their commitment to replace medications containing pseudoephedrine, a nonprescription decongestant that can be used in the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine, with Nexafed, a PSE product formulated with Impede technology that disrupts the extraction and conversion of PSE to meth.
Westport Pharmaceuticals has been showcasing its Zephrex-D "meth-resistant" pseudoephedrine-based decongestant that is now available in retail stores throughout Missouri. It's a hot product as much for the sales generated, as for the sales not lost.
According to a report filed to Congress by the Government Accountability Office on Wednesday, the seizures of methamphetamine-producing labs declined following state and federal sales restrictions on pseudoephedrine.
The latest Arkansas proposition to control PSE sales may deliver the biggest blow to the over-the-counter accessibility argument, as it restricts sales to Arkansas residents who have a state-issued picture ID and who don’t look like they might be meth addicts. It also is no more fair or effective to have pharmacists decide who looks like a meth addict and who doesn't. Worse, the bill includes a provision that would allow the Arkansas Board of Pharmacy to color any OTC medicine with the same brush as PSE.
The forward-looking vision employed by Gov. Jay Nixon in exploring “next steps” in fighting methamphetamine abuse before even the last step has been put into place and enacted is, in a matter of speaking, extremely short-sighted. It doesn’t even make fiscal sense, because the National Precursor Log Exchange will do more to curb many of the costs associated with fighting meth addicts without conversely increasing the costs associated with fighting a cold. And truth be told, there are probably a lot more stuffy heads in Missouri than there are meth addicts.
The most significant event that occurred during a soft 2006-2007 cough-and-cold season was the shift of the decongestant pseudoephedrine behind the counter in all 50 states. To be sure, some states still require more strict regulations on the sale of PSE, but at least now PSE is behind the counter in a legislative effort to thwart homegrown methamphetamine makers.