Zephrex D is now available in several national and regional retailers.
As previously reported by Patch, the decongestant was availble at Walgreens last week. It is now available at Walmart and CVS across the St. Louis area.
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Zephrex-D is manufactured by Maryland Heights-based Highland Pharmaceuticals. Westport Pharmaceuticals is a subsidiary of Highland.
Paul Hemings, vice president and general manager with Westport Pharmaceuticals, tells Patch "tamper-resistant" Zephrex-D is only being sold in the St. Louis market, including St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson counties.
As previously reported by Patch,
“The arrival of Zephrex-D is an integral part of a comprehensive solution to help end meth labs and meth-related crime in our local communities, throughout Missouri and ultimately, across our country,” stated Hemings in a news release this week.
According to the Westport Pharmaceuticals news release, meth lab seizures across Missouri have increased by 50 percent in the last four years, and the cost to the state for law enforcement, prosecution, incarceration and site clean-up efforts is estimated to be over $5 million annually.
Those numbers are the reason Missouri is considered the "ideal" test market to launch the new decongestant that is "formulated to block all commonly known methods of meth making, while maintaining full decongestant benefits and relief for patients."
"Zephrex-D represents a tremendous breakthrough in the battle against methamphetamine production without needing to restrict access for legitimate consumers,"Westport stated in this week's release.
As it stands today, because it is a pseudoephedrine-based product, 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. Since it cannot be converted into meth, Zephrex-D is being sold without a prescription in some of those counties.
Hemings said Westport Pharmaceuticals 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.
For a listing of participating retailers and their locations, visit www.Zephrex-D.com.