CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Fruth Pharmacy hopes to make it more difficult for drug users to cook meth. The owners of the pharmacy announced Tuesday they will begin selling a new product called Nexafed at all 25 of the company’s stores in West Virginia and Ohio.

Nexafed is a next-generation medication that provides nasal congestion relief, just like Sudafed. However, Nexafed has meth-deterring properties. 

Jennifer Smith/MetroNews

Fruth Pharmacy President and CEO Lynn Fruth explains the company’s decision at Tuesday news conference.

Both Sudafed and Nexafed contain the ingredient pseudoephedrine but the makers of Nexafed have created a pill that disrupts the extraction and conversion of pseudoephedrine into methamphetamine.

“So in this tamper resistant technology, a person that wants to make meth is not going to be willing to buy this product because the element they’re trying to extract is nearly impossible to get out of this,” explained Lynn Fruth, the president and CEO of the chain, during a Tuesday news conference in Charleston.

In the case of Nexafed, meth cannot be extracted by heating the pills with other chemicals. Fruth said once meth makers realize Sudafed is no longer sold in their stores, only Nexafed, they’ll have to find another source.

“If they’re looking for the purposes of meth, they aren’t interested in buying this product,” according to Fruth.

For those who are legally using products with pseudoephedrine to treat allergies, Fruth stressed Nexafed is just as effective as Sudafed.

Fruth said there is a concern some customers might want to stick with the Sudafed name brand and might go somewhere else to purchase it. But that’s not deterred their decision.

“As a company we decided we really need to do what’s the best thing for our customers, for the community. If that means you make a little less money because you’re not selling Sudafed to people who are using it illegally, I think we’re OK with that,” Fruth said.

She is hoping other pharmacies will follow suit.

Currently Nexafed is only produced in 30mg tablets. Fruth will continue to sell Sudafed at other strengths until comparable Nexafed products are available. Then they’ll phase out Sudafed altogether.

The state currently has a tracking system that requires Sudafed be sold from behind the counter. You must have a photo id to purchase it. Even though Nexafed is tamper resistant, it too will have the same restrictions.

To find out more about Nexafed, log on to

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  • Howsee Liquor

    I guess nobody has told u about the tsunami of commercial meth from Mexico yet I mean who cooks anymore?

  • Forrest D. Poston

    There are multiple fallacies here, but the primary one is the idea that cutting off the local supply of materials affects the availability of meth. My understanding is that major supplies of meth-making materials and meth itself now come in from Mexico.

    The entire restriction method is a bust. If authorities want to reduce use and production of meth, they have to get to the causes, which are more complicated.

  • Ragweed

    "Even though Nexafed is tamper resistant, it too will have the same restrictions."

    I don't understand. If the new Nexafed is so effective at deterring meth making, why the restrictions?

  • Ragweed

    Agreed, Larry.

    I say once someone is convicted of selling or making elicit drugs, that they be taken out immediately and shot. THAT will take care of the drug problem. Don't worry about the users. Take out the source. Then again, that's probably too harsh for those who think that they need another chance. How many more chances will they get? Drugs are destroying this country.

  • Bill

    Good job Lynn.

  • Tim C

    Somebody will figure out how to separate the chemical compounds. They always do. I applaud the effort but it will matter little.

  • Allergy sufferer


    The allergist says Claritin D will do... Don't need a pricier prescription. If Nexafed can be used in its place, I'm all for it...and if it can 100% for sure not be used in the making of meth, why would it have the same restrictions that the medicines that are vulnerable to meth have? That's all I'm asking...would that legislative measure still need to apply to Nexafed? I'm more raising the question than adamantly fighting for it.

  • Allergy sufferer

    No no, I'm all for Nexafed, and I think you mistook my point. I applaud this step toward battling the meth problem. What I was saying was perhaps in the case of Nexafed, if it is proven beyond doubt that it can not be used to make meth, the restrictions on pseudefedrine can be lightened only in regards to this new allergy fighter. I promise you, because of the meth heads whom I blame, not legislature, it can be extremely inconvenient during high pollen/ragweed times of year to simply buy Claritin-D 24/hr when two people in a household suffer seasonally with similar allergies. Having to remember who bought last and how long ago is a hassle. Hopefully Nexafed is a step toward easing that issue as well.

  • Diane

    If you are a user of Sudafed you will be following the same guidelines to purchase this product as you already are. Maybe you need to see an allergy specialist and find a better product for your family that is not used in making meth. I for one think there needs to be a few more restrictions to keep meth off the streets.

  • GW

    Am sure this new feature will come at a premium.

  • Vinnie

    Not at all. As a practicing pharmacist the "restrictions" are not a problem. A family may still purchase plenty of the drug for allergy/congestion symptoms. This is a positive step to keep these drugs from going to "prescription only status" which will most certainly hold up access and bring about much higher costs. I applaud Fruth for this decision.

  • Larry

    Hopefully soon it will be all that is available, meth makers and users are a scourge on society.

  • Allergy sufferer

    "Even though Nexafed is tamper resistant, it too will have the same restrictions."

    This defeats a part of the purpose. Perhaps it can be reviewed by the state legislature with some help from pharmacology. Life is tricky for a family with multiple allergy sufferers right now thanks to the meth heads.

  • Doug

    You have to have a photo ID! Where Obama! This is racist. First they want you to have ID to vote, now sudafed. Where is Eric Holder!

  • Rich

    Hurrah for this responsible corporate citizen.