1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
  1. SpatialReason
    A new weapon in the "war on meth" is coming soon to pharmacies.

    It's "meth-proof" pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant used to treat cold and allergy-related symptoms, but it's also the main ingredient in meth.

    Experts say it looks and works the exact same as pseudoephedrine products already available, but Nexafed and Zephrex-D have chemicals that make the pseudoephedrine practically impossible to turn into meth. They also say these new forms could finally be the solution to Oklahoma's meth epidemic.

    David Starkey dedicates his life to stopping the meth problem, and says meth-proof pseudoephedrine is a "game-changer." "[I'm] excited that it's fully passed DEA testing and you can get no yield of meth from either of these pseudoephedrine products," Starkey said.

    Pharmacist Chris Schiller says lately he's had to focus on enforcing strict pseudoephedrine laws instead of helping patients. "We can actually put it back over the counter where we don't have to take an ID from a patient, treat every patient like a criminal that's coming in just because they have a cold or some congestion," Schiller said.

    Meth-proof pseudo turns into a thick gel-like goop rather than a crystal-like powder when it's broken down with the solvents used to make meth. That makes it nearly impossible to extract the pure pseudoephedrine. Schiller said people using pseudoephedrine for the right reasons likely won't be able to tell a difference between the regular and the meth-proof versions. "The technology they used in this particular drug they're using in other medications, and as of right now, they work just the same and have the same effect," Schiller said.

    He's hoping meth-proof will be the new norm.

    "What I'm thinking might happen is pharmacies will choose to carry just those ones, or legislation will pass to where they can only sell that kind." But Starkey worries the drug companies that make regular pseudoephedrine will do all they can to make sure that doesn't happen. "Eighty-five percent of all pseudoephedrine that's sold is going into the meth cook market," he said. That means they make most of their money off people making meth, and Starkey is concerned pharmaceutical companies won't want to burn up their profit.

    So, he says it's up to law-abiding citizens to make sure meth-proof pseudoephedrine becomes the only kind of pseudoephedrine. "Since this is so new, most of your pharmacies don't know about it," Starkey said. "Start asking for meth-proof pseudoephedrine."

    Nexafed will be available in Oklahoma pharmacies within the next several months. Zephrex-D is already available in Missouri, and will be coming to Oklahoma pharmacies as well in the near future. In 2004, Oklahoma became the first state in the nation to put pseudoephedrine behind the counter, limit the amount people could buy and require ID for purchase. That then became federal law soon after. Oklahoma also has a drug tracking system as well.

    Ian Silver
    Copyright 2012 Cox Television Tulsa, LLC. All rights reserved.
    Updated: 3/13 10:16 am
    Published:12/13/2012 6:29 pm

    Link to news video: http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/local_links.php?catid=39&linkid=12491
    (site link looks to be broken, please use the direct link in the mean time: http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/em...=video_local&va_id=3867928&volume=8&windows=1)


    Acura Pharmaceuticals Launches Meth-Resistant Pseudoephedrine, Nexafed

    The Palantine, Illinois-based company, Acura Pharmaceuticals, today launched a new nasal decongestant product formulated to prevent its use in the illicit synthesis of methamphetamine.

    Nexafed® is Acura’s brand of 30 mg pseudoephedrine hydrochloride tablets formulated with several inert polymers. This combination is designed to still be effective as a decongestant when taken orally, but the polymers (called IMPEDE™) will form a gummy gel if mixed with solvents commonly used in illicit methamphetamine synthesis. While not necessary for US Food and Drug Administration approval, Acura released information last month on a Phase I pharmacokinetic trial in 30 healthy volunteers that demonstrated Nexafed’s bioequivalence of a typical 60 mg dose to that of “the national leading brand product” (Sudafed®).

    Acura’s been working on this formulation for four years as part of an overall, 10-year program to establish specialty expertise in the field of abuse- or misuse-deterrent pharmaceuticals. The company’s first foray into the area was with a polyethylene oxide formulation of the opioid analgesic, oxycodone, to create a product called Oxecta®.

    The deterrent approach with Oxecta (using AVERSION™ technology) was two-fold, to impede both intravenous and intranasal misuse of the drug. If solubilized by typical means for injection, the opioid would also form a gelatinous goop that could not be easily handled. For users who might crush the tablet to snort, the formulation contains sodium lauryl sulfate (sodium dodecyl sulfate, or SDS, to my laboratory brethren). This ionic detergent is a strong irritant if snorted but is inconsequential when the drug is taken orally.

    (As an undergraduate lab intern, I remember weighing out SDS without wearing a requisite N95 mask. Inhaling the flakes from just the amount of powder poofing up as I weighed it out was irritating enough to my nose and lungs that I never forgot to wear a mask again).

    Other abuse-deterrent drug formulations

    Acura had been riding high with Oxecta since July, 2011, when it received a $20 million milestone payment (PDF) from Pfizer, the company’s development and sales partner.

    However, Acura’s President and CEO Bob Jones told me last Friday that Pfizer had not been as enthusiastic as anticipated about the product and other opioids being developed with AVERSION technology. The product had been priced much higher than the corresponding Roxicodone and Pfizer was still negotiating with FDA over the wording of the physician promotional materials over a year after its FDA approval.

    In July, Acura announced early termination of the agreement with Pfizer on three other opioid/opioid plus acetaminophen products with AVERSION technology. Pfizer still retains Oxecta.

    Jones told me that he anticipates the launch of Nexafed to go more smoothly because Acura has priced it equivalent to the brand-name pseudoephedrine product and will market it directly to independent community pharmacies as these stores have far more control over shelf space than the large chain drugstores. Moreover, pharmacies that carry only Nexafed might be less likely to be targeted for meth-driven robberies like this one that occurred in Missouri over the Thanksgiving holiday.

    “We’re not going to make abuse go away,” Jones says, “but this will go a long way [in minimizing illicit drugs on the street].”

    While the Nexafed formulation renders methamphetamine synthesis all but impossible by conventional methods, it would only impede production by the crude, one-pot method by about 50%.

    The formulation will also have no effect on the progression of Season 5 of Breaking Bad: the AMC show’s protagonists bypass the need for pseudoephedrine by synthesizing meth from phenylacetone and methylamine, industrial chemicals that are much more highly controlled than pseudoephedrine.

    I don’t know about you but I often feel discomforted when I have to buy pseudoephedrine at the pharmacy, showing my license to ensure that I’m not a meth cook. I can definitely see a consumer advantage when buying something like Nexafed — it says, “I’m not a meth cook — I really, really need it for my sinuses.”

    Jones hopes that a major selling point by pharmacists will be that the customer buying Nexafed will be helping the community by minimizing the ease with which meth labs operate and helping law enforcement. I’m not sure how far the customer altruism will help sales but I suspect it will be of value in areas where the abundance of meth labs affect crime rates.

    One of those states, Kentucky, is a living laboratory where researchers recently reported in JAMA on a trend between legal methamphetamine sales and illicit meth lab seizures. In discussing this paper in October, I expressed my concerns that any resulting efforts to make pseudoephedrine a prescription product would further restrict one of the remaining useful decongestants from legitimate sale to consumers.

    Indeed, Jones agreed that Acura feels that a progressive drive to reclassify pseudoephedrine to prescription status is ongoing in the US. He’s hopeful that Nexafed would retain its over-the-counter status because of its abuse-deterrent formulation.

    Jones took over leadership of Acura following the untimely death of previous CEO, Andrew Reddick, in early 2011. He notes a sense of personal satisfaction in being involved in cultivating Acura’s portfolio having worked on opioid analgesics early in his career followed by a 11-year stint at Burroughs-Wellcome during the time that Sudafed brand of pseudoephedrine was developed.

    David Kroll
    Published:12/10/2012 3:01PM



  1. Emin
    This will just lead to importation of larger amount of illicit precursors which would probably cause more meth to be in the area because of demand.
  2. N0rthrnCa707
    Unfortunately pseudoephedrine has had reasonable limitations on large purchases for some time. Some states more than others, but for the most part pseudoephedrine has been so much of a pain in the ass to obtain in large enough quantities to actually make anything commercial, cooks have moved on to other methods that don't include pseudoephedrine.


    I do not support meth in any way. At first glance it doesn't look that way, I just said unfortunately because its been long enough for scumbags to find out new ideas.
  3. SpatialReason
    There are lots of ways of doing it. For a professional chemist/cook, this is probably a laughable method, but it gets the job done when you can't get anything else. Most of the time, people aren't hooked up with pharmaceutical feedstocks usually through gangs and whatnot. The most effective ways of doing things have been tightly controlled. As you have mentioned, and it is only now that they have jumped on controlling the real issue at hand with "any-old-joe" supplies.

    This is solely to prohibit the foolish single-pot cooks who have no business making meth from indeed making meth. You'll never be able to stop the in-rush of methods to make drugs, but you can at least make it more difficult for the folks trying to use it as a "quick cash method."

    I am in favor of this. This news article is from my city, which has a serious problem with mobile labs, apartment labs, and people trying to turn a quick dollar from making terrible products that lack any form of good yields. Usually people find themselves getting sick and worse in health from their addiction because their cheaper meth finds its way into their veins. Also there is that inconvenience of the occasional "kaboom."

    They can make it harder... but never stop it... yet this can be good from both sides of the field when you think about it. Anybody can make meth with the pseudophed teks: this is a bad thing.
  4. Mick Mouse
    Back when I was active in my meth career, it seemed as if the lag time between the time the big pharma made formula changes and the time it took the bright boyz to break it was about 4 to 6 weeks. There will always be someone out there who will find a way to pull the goods, no matter what kind of traps big pharma lays!

    Any bets on how long it will take to break this one? I would think that by mimicking the environment of the stomach, i.e. hydrochloric acid, heat, etc. you would be on the right path to breaking it.

    It is Sooo much easier using precursors other than PSE!
  5. SpatialReason
    Imagine that havoc TR: "I want 10 boxes of Nexafed. Don't worry, it's meth-proof."
  6. Mick Mouse
    *News Flash* (In bold, highlighted, and large print, of course)

    1 ton Nexafed seized in small town-homeowner says "It's allergy season and I don't get to the store much."

    Police forced to return the drug because it is meth-proof.

    This is a complete fallacy, made up to play along with SpatialReason and to illustrate in a comical way this idea. It is both utterly ridiculous and a crying shame that I have to explain that this is humor in order to avoid the ignorant comments and actions of members who do not comprehend the various nuances of comedy or are just trigger-happy.

    And as SR mentioned, using PSE, or just plain E for that matter, is basically done by small, independent self-styled "cooks" who either to not have access to the materials necessary to turn out large(er) batches of superior product, or they do not possess the knowledge and/or skills to do this properly. Not 100%, of course, but a majority, in my opinion.This is quite common in many states, however, there are variations on the method, depending on your part of the country.

    For instance, in the Southwest, such as Arizona and far-southern Califas, the methods differ from places in the Midwest-such as Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas-where they have access to Anhydrous Ammonia. But in both instances, inexperienced and foolish people are using precursor II chems to manufacture a witches-brew of neurotoxins with a little meth thrown in for good measure, and in very small quantities. And they have a very disturbing tendency to either blow themselves up or burn themselves beyond recognition. You just hope nowadays that they don't do their kids or other innocent bystanders when the house gets lifted off it's foundations.
  7. N0rthrnCa707
    You guys are spot on. My above post was a tad ignorant.
    I live in a small county where meth destroys families either directly or indirectly.
    Labs turn out all the time, by the police with any luck. Others explode.
    So if that product puts a dent in operations of the such, I will be happy.
  8. Mick Mouse
    I was a manufacturer and an IV meth addict for quite a while, and it pretty much destroyed me and my family. And I was lab-grade, not 2 liter soda bottle! But I still wear the scars from that bitch to this day, I had a beaker of sulfuric acid blow on me, and even with lab-grade glassware, leather safety aprons/glasses, and the correct technique, my upper chest is a mass of scar tissue where the skin was dissolving and running down my chest while I was dumping baking soda on it to stop the burn. Went to prison for my sins for many years and I was lucky enough that my wife saw something worth keeping in me and she stuck around, but it ruined everything we had.

    Three years out, and I am STILL trying to pick up the pieces and fix all of my mistakes! But I have been meth-free now for longer than I was an addict, so I must be doing something right.

    So yeah, I know what you mean. Meth is fucking stupid.
  9. SpatialReason
    It has ruined so many lives here in Tulsa (where the news media is out of as a matter of fact for this article). Meth was the reason why my friend got mugged. The guy was a known tweaker who was dealing to support his habit. Long story short: he made someone show up with some large sum of money and pulled a gun on him for it. And he knew very well that the cops couldn't get dragged into this mess. Imagine if someone died that day... neither person's life deserves to be taken over some crystal! The worst part was that I was going to be the next victim folks. Thank god I used better judgement and ignored the "offers." Think about that one for a second. I am hot headed, and that would certainly have ended bad. So that is why, in general, I am just getting more burned out with drugs in general. I realize that I could have been another article here.

    People blanket this whole subject with science and reason on this website, which is a great thing and all, but we cannot lose diligence in the fact that drugs are dangerous on so many levels we don't often speak about here. It is our duty to still remind people that there is more to this world of drugs, and we try our best to ignore it for rules sake and preventing the sliming-up of our forums with that sort of garbage. Yet we can never ignore it. Addiction, death, crime, families affected, companies affected, and communities in general are all things we can't forget that drugs can impact in a negative way. Meth has become my localities blight, and it only gets worse as time goes by. While the drug is not truly bad on the surface when you think about it, it is the underbelly that makes it very dangerous. Folks know that the drug exists, but there is so much danger that goes into procurement and manufacturing... and so much liability... and so many problems from the addicted folks... that it just becomes a situation that isn't worth it!

    Meth makes good folks slowly erode into something they never thought they would be. The business of meth drives folks into precarious situations. Some folks try to steal barrels from UREA/UAN manufacturers knowing very well that they could get half of their life locked away. Can you imagine that there are pharmacists that get mugged over sudafed boxes?!

    It is just bad. So many lives lost. So many people affected. So many explosions... Enough is enough. It isn't even that great of a drug neither. People can argue with me on that one all day, but I have had better in my own days. It's fine for what it is, but when you factor in stories of "babies burned in meth lab explosions," meet people who were former severe addicts that are severely altered mentally/physically, and find that friends turn into dirt and start trying to screw you for their habit... it just becomes a situation of dirt and grime that isn't worth putting your hands in. It will take a long time to wash off...
  10. Mick Mouse
    It has been over 8 years for me, and I still feel dirty.
  11. tulanthor
    Even if it doesn't affect the availability of meth on the streets, it still has value in reducing the occurrence of home-labs. These make-shift labs are the source of a lot of harm because people are stupid and/or greedy and end up hurting a lot of people. Plus, doing a cook with chemical feedstock requires the right connections, better lab equipment, and more knowledge. There are a lot fewer people who can cook like that, which makes the DEA's job easier in combating meth. I think it will also reduce the availability of meth. Ya, those people with the right connections can make all the meth they want, but it still has to get from those people to the consumers. If you live in a town of 5000 in the middle of nowhere, there's probably not going to be anyone capable of cooking there which means it will be a lot less available (if at all). Also, as far as I know, the PSE method is the only method that produces pure d-meth. The one possible disadvantage (which is also an advantage depending on your view) is that meth produced by trained chemists will be of a much higher quality. Better meth = more addictive. Although it also reduces the chances of having a bad cook distribute a poisonous concoction they claim to be meth.

    I'm sure that someone will come up with a way to get around this, but it surely won't be easy. I wouldn't be surprised if the difficulty of circumventing the protection mechanism is more demanding than just using different precursors.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!