By Steve Patterson
St. Louis (KSDK) - A new drug being released next week is being marketed as crime-fighting tool against methamphetamine production.
The makers of a new decongestant, Zephrex-D, say it can't be refined to make meth. The drug still uses pseudoephedrine, which is often the key ingredient in meth production. The drug is produced by Westport Pharmaceuticals right here in St. Louis. Its producers say it will revolutionize the illegal meth market.
"Our ultimate goal is to end meth lab production across St. Louis," said Westport Vice President Paul Hemings, "And ultimately across the U.S."
Jason Grellner is the head of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit. We worked with the drug to try to simulate a meth lab, and says the product is foolproof.
"After 20 years of meth labs, after supervising and bringing down over 1,600 meth labs, I'm finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and this time it's not an oncoming train," Grellner said. "I think we're going to see the end of meth labs.
The drug goes on sale next week in the St. Louis area with the slogan "Powerful Congestion Relief, Powerful Crime Prevention." If it does well, Hemings says they'll take it nationwide Zephrex-D is already exempted in St. Charles and Franklin County as a prescription only drug, despite those county's ordinances that make pseudophedrine illegal as over the counter medicine.