Fruth Pharmacy to Stop Selling Certain Medications to Fight Meth Abuse

By: Anna Baxter, The Associated Press Email
By: Anna Baxter, The Associated Press Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Fruth Pharmacy took a bold statement Tuesday in hopes of helping the fight against meth abuse.

During a news conference, Fruth pharmacies in West Virginia announced it's replacing pure pseudoephedrine (PSE), a drug used in the manufacturing of meth, with a tamper-resistant pseudoephedrine product.

Lynne Fruth, president and chairman of Fruth Pharmacy, says the medications will be replaced with a new tamper-resistant product called Nexafed.

Fruth says this is part of the company's commitment to fight methamphetamine abuse in the community.

By making only Nexafed available, patients still get the relief they need, but those seeking PSE for meth production will have to look elsewhere, Fruth said.

The Nexafed tablet contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, similar to the popular brand-name allergy drug Sudafed. But if an abuser tries to extract the pseudoephedrine out of Nexafed to make meth, it breaks down into a thick gel that thwarts production.

Fruth will continue to stock other pseudoephedrine products that offer different dosages than Nexafed.

Meth production has been a big problem in West Virginia. Statewide, authorities seized more than 300 meth labs since January. More than half were in Kanawha County.

Fruth Pharmacy operates 25 stores in West Virginia and Ohio.

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