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Independent study: Zephrex-D effective in thwarting meth production

BY Michael Johnsen

ST. LOUIS — Westport Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday announced findings from independent testing of their meth-resistant pseudoephedrine product, Zephrex-D. The specially formulated pseudoephedrine product helps make it impractical and nearly impossible to illicitly manufacture methamphetamine.

According to the January 2013 "General Accounting Office Report," more than 87% of domestic meth labs utilize the One Pot meth-making method. Testing demonstrates that meth cannot be produced from Zephrex-D using this popular One Pot method. 

Other, more traditional meth-making methods, which utilize an extraction to conversion two-step process, have proven to be impractical using Zephrex-D. In recent independent laboratory tests of Zephrex-D, traditional extraction/conversion manufacturing methods converted less than one half of one percent (0.5%) of the pseudoephedrine into meth. When more advanced analytical conversion methods were applied to Zephrex-D, the yield was less than 2.0%. And, the small amount of meth produced is still locked in excipients that cannot be smoked, injected or snorted.

By way of example, given the Zephrex-D formulation and assuming a standard meth dose of 250 milligrams, meth makers using traditional extraction/conversion methods would have to buy almost 1,800 30mg pills to convert enough pseudoephedrine into one dose of meth, coming at a cost of over $450 for the Zephrex-D alone, the company noted. Additionally, high manufacturing cycle time and other supply costs associated with this process make it economically infeasible. This figure is in comparison to a traditional pseudoephedrine product where only about 11 30mg tablets are needed to manufacture one dose of meth ($2.31 approximate cost). 

Meth sells on the street for about $30 per 250mg dose, Westport Pharmaceuticals noted.

 

 

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Mo. law expands pharmacy inspection authority

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A new law in Missouri allows state regulatory officials to test drugs during inspections.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed into law the bill, S.B. 306, which allows the Missouri Board of Pharmacy to establish a program for testing drugs, including compounded drugs, with testing paid for by the board. The law previously allowed the board only to inspect businesses selling drugs or chemicals.

A copy of the bill is here.


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ADHD drugs don’t increase drug-abuse risk, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder don’t appear to increase children’s risk of abusing drugs and alcohol later in life, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California Los Angeles and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed 15 studies of 2,565 patients conducted between January 1980 and February 2012 to determine whether children who take stimulant drugs to treat ADHD were at higher risk of dependence on alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, nicotine and other drugs.

The researchers found that the use of stimulants to treat ADHD had no effect on the risk of drug and alcohol abuse.

"Results suggested comparable outcomes between children with and without medication treatment history for any substance use and abuse or dependence outcome across all substance types," the researchers wrote.

 

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