Some new scientific breakthroughs are designed to break the backs of meth makers.
There are some new medicines on the market that allow for the legitimate use of pseudoephedrine, yet guard against its misuse by meth manufacturers.
The development could be a game changer in the war on meth. “This tells me that the technology is available, and hopefully this technology can be improved on to where it offers an alternative to Sudafed,” said Mayor Joe Thallemer, (R) Warsaw.
Mayor Thallemer’s door to door campaigning didn’t end with his election victory last November. Instead, it began again with frequent visits to local pharmacies.
“I had mentioned in November when I got elected that I was going to go around and talk to the pharmacists and see if they would voluntarily remove Sudafed from their shelves,” said Mayor Thallemer. “Figured it couldn’t hurt.”
Indeed, some bought into the mayor’s plan to restrict access to pseudoephedrine. “We do not sell Sudafed without a prescription,” said Kristi Plummer with Zale Drugs. “That’s just our store policy.”
Recently, Zale’s also began selling a new brand of decongestant called Nexafed, that invites buyers to “Battle congestion--and meth abuse to.”
Nexafed tablets are technologically booby trapped.
“Nexafed has Impede technology which is a combination of inactive ingredients that when meth cooks try to process pseudoephedrine into meth these ingredients disrupt that process by forming a thick gel which blocks the extraction of psuedoephedrine so that it cannot be converted into meth,” said Brad Rivet, of Acura Pharmaceuticals.
The claim seems to be too good to be true, and perhaps some of it is. “I’ve seen some test reports that say you can take this product you can convert about 30 percent of this product to meth. Which is a whole lot better than what's available now but it’s not perfect,” said Mayor Thallemer.
While Nexafed won’t provide an immediate solution to the meth problem in the Warsaw area, it does offer hope that wasn’t there before. “If we can promote this medication and at least promote an improvement of this medication and get to the point where it is now something that can be on the shelf and distributed widely, that’s the way to go without question,” said Mayor Thallemer.
There is always the chance meth cooks could find a way around the new technology, and some argue that reducing domestic meth production would likely lead to an increase in imported meth from Mexico.
A second tamper-proof product also went on the market late last year. Zephrex D is mainly being test marketed in Missouri.