ST. LOUIS (AP) — Several pharmacies in the St. Louis area are now selling the first-ever pseudoephedrine-based decongestant that apparently cannot be used to make methamphetamine.

Highland Pharmaceuticals in suburban St. Louis is the maker of Zephrex-D, which has been rolled out over the past week or so, mostly in the St. Louis area. Company spokeswoman Emilie Dolan says Walmart, Walgreens and CVS are among the pharmacies selling the product.

Pseudoephedrine found in cold and allergy pills is precursor for most meth recipes. Missouri has been especially hard hit by the meth epidemic, leading the nation in meth lab seizures every year but one over the past decade.

Dolan says Highland spent years coming up with pseudoephedrine that cannot be extracted into meth. The company hopes to sell the product nationally within a year.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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