Fruth stops selling certain medicines to curb meth making in WV - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Fruth Pharmacy stops selling certain medicines to curb meth making

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Fruth Pharmacy announced they will replace some of their pseudophedrine medicine with a new meth-deterring version.

The local chain is taking steps to help stop people from using common cold medicines to make drugs by stocking a new product called Nexafed. It's a next-generation medication that provides nasal congestion relief like Sudafed, but has meth-deterring properties.

Sam Arco, head pharmacist at the Fruth Pharmacy in downtown Charleston, said Nexafed is very similar to Sudafed.

"There's no reason why people would be against using this versus the other type of Sudafed unless for some reason they are not using it for the proper purpose," said Arco.

The new medicine is still over the counter and will go through the state's screening system. It's the same ingredients as Sudafed but it's designed to stop the meth epidemic.

"The Sudafed could be crushed, turned into meth pretty easily. With the Nexafed it's been reformulated," said David Cheslin, head pharmacist at the Fruth Pharmacy on Oak Wood Road. 

When Nexafed is crushed, the tablets turn into a gel rather than a liquid making it nearly impossible to produce meth.

"It can be crushed, it just can't be used once it's crushed to be formulated into the methamphetamine," said Cheslin.

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

(Five arrested on meth related charges in Kanawha County, WV)

For every box of pseudophedrine that is misused and made into meth, there's an estimated cost of $3700 to the community. This includes toxic clean-up, healthcare and child endangerment costs. 

Fruth Pharmacy says it may lose business by taking away popular, name-brand cold medicines. However, Lynne Fruth the president and chairman of Fruth Pharmacy said it is a cost worth taking. 

"For us as a pharmacy, anytime we can do anything, whether it's a positive cash flow or negative cash flow, anytime that we can say is helping the problem then we need to be on board with it," said Fruth. 

Several Fruth Pharmacy customers 13 News spoke to said they're also on board for the new medication.

"Anything that was able to keep the meth from being made or any drug from being made and off the streets would be a good thing if it actually works," said Vanessa Young. 

Fruth will continue to stock other pseudephedrine products that offer different dosages than Nexafed. As of now, the pharmacy only carries 30 mg doses of Nexafed.