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Zephrex-D: Meth Busting Allergy Drug Now Available at Walgreens

Zephrex-D, a new decongestant touted to fight meth labs, is now available at Walgreens. It's coming to two more major St. Louis area pharmacies in coming weeks.

As previously reported by Patch, Zephrex D was expected to be available in St. Louis area pharmacies in November. 

(For instant news updates follow Patch on Facebook and Twitter.)

It is now rolling out in Walgreens stores and available at select Walgreens at this time. 

Zephrex-D is manufactured by Maryland Heights based Highland Pharmaceuticals. Westport Pharmaceuticals is a subsidiary of Highland.

Paul Hemings, with Westport Pharmaceuticals, tells Patch, that in addition to Walgreens, Zephrex-D will be in two more major pharmacies in the St. Louis areas in the next week or two.  

Hemings is holding off on making the two additional pharmacies public citing privacy agreements with the companies.

Overall, Zephrex-D is only being sold in the St. Louis market, including St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson counties.

"It's a small launch in a test market," Hemings tells Patch.  "It's a big deal for us. It's a big deal for St. Louis."

And it could be a big deal in the fight against meth labs, according to St. Louis area drug agent Jason Grellner.

As previously reported by Patch, the new decongestant cannot be converted into methamphetamine.

The drug has undergone rigorous testing, according to both Hemings and Grellner.

Since it cannot be converted into meth, it is also being sold without a prescription in some counties that have recently passed ordinances requiring a prescription to purchase pseudoephedrine products such as Claritin-D and Allegra-D.

As it stands today, Zephrex-D is behind the pharmacy counter because of how all pseudoephedrine products are regulated. Customers must also show an ID to purchase such products and there is a limit to how much can be purchased at a time.

Some Missouri cities and counties also require a prescription to purchase pseudoephedrine drugs.

However, Hemings said Westport Pharmaceuticals has applied for exemptions to those rules in Franklin and St. Charles counties, where county-wide prescription ordinances are in place, and they have been granted the exemptions. Therefore, shoppers do not need prescriptions for Zephrex-D in those two counties.

St. Louis County does not have a prescription requirement, however, many cities have passed such requirements and consumers will need prescriptions to purchase Zephrex-D, just like all other pseudoephedrine products, at this time.

Westport has not applied for exemptions to individual cities within St. Louis County yet that have the prescription requirements, but the company plans to address cities now that Zephrex-D is in pharmacies. 

Hemmings and St Louis area drug agents had hoped St. Louis County would pass a county-wide prescription requirement. It has not.

Hemings is not sure how long it will take for future exemption requests to be granted by individual cities.

READ RELATED ARTICLES: 

Zephrex-D: New Meth-Busting Decongestant in St. Louis Pharmacies in November

A Prescription Will be Required For Allergy Medications in Manchester

Manchester Could Require Prescription For Allergy Drugs Next Week

Zephrex-D: Meth-Busting Decongestant in St. Louis Pharmacies This Year

Fighting Meth: No Rx Needed For a New Decongestant Coming to St. Louis

Fighting Meth: Allergy Drugs Could Require Prescriptions in Manchester

Part 1: Is Meth Moving Into Your Neighborhood?

Part 2: Is Meth Moving Into Your Neighborhood?

Mike Budd December 10, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Hello Gabrielle, Thanks for your info. Good to know that Zephrex-D is now sold in some places and without prescription in many cases. It has been a tough debate between proponents and opponents of this prescription law for pseudoephedrine. Now that the ordinance has been voted and that Zephrex-D becomes available, it would be interesting to measure the real effects for patients, doctors, pharmacists and drug agents who pushed for this prescription law. The dust will settle soon and hopefully we will have more data to know if it was a good decision. Will it really reduce the number of meth labs? Will honest patients have to spend time and money to get their prescription or will they buy Zephrex-D preferably? I'd be curious to know if my guess about the possible consequences of this new generation of meth-deterring products was right: http://ephedrinewheretobuy.com/ephedrine-sold-over-the-counter-a-political-fiction Good guess or not, I sincerely hope that it will not affect people who need their pseudoephedrine-based medications (especially low income patients) and that it will help drug agents in the fight to curb the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine. Cheers, Mike

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