DEA insists cold drug is not meth-resistant

by Jim Salter

A cold and allergy decongestant containing what the manufacturer says is the first pseudoephedrine that cannot be used in meth production is now available nationwide.

The Drug Enforcement Administration refuses to allow Zephrex-D to be sold over the counter, saying government chemists were able to manufacture from the product.

Zephrex-D has been sold in Missouri since December and suburban St. Louis company Westport Pharmaceuticals rolled out the product to 15,000 pharmacies nationwide last month.

Westport says the amount of meth that can be made using Zephrex-D is so small that it's impractical for meth-makers. The Missouri Narcotics Officers Association says it hasn't found the product in any meth labs.

Nonetheless, the DEA insisted Tuesday that Zephrex-D must be sold from behind the counter like all other products.

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