Fruth Pharmacy takes aim at meth making

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. 

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 www.nexafed.com.





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