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Rx Response ‘ready for action,’ group says

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — An organization set up to provide pharmacy services in the wake of natural disasters is prepared for what experts predict will be a particularly bad hurricane season.

Rx Response said Thursday that its two main programs — Rx Open and Rx on the Run — was ready for action. The group is a coalition of drug makers, pharmacy retailers and others that this past year was deployed following Hurricane Sandy, mapping the status of more than 10,000 pharmacies across an 11-state area. The federal government’s Climate Prediction Center has warned that 2013 will have an active or extremely active Atlantic hurricane season.

"Hurricanes can impact communities in many adverse ways, and one of the most serious impacts is when severe weather threatens access to medication," Rx Response director Erin Mullen said. "We urge citizens living in hurricane-prone areas to visit www.RxOpen.org after a storm hits to identify where they can get prescriptions filled. We also encourage citizens to be ready for this year’s hurricane season by filling out an Rx on the Run prescription medication card today."

 

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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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