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A drug company says it has developed a formulation of the cold medicine pseudoephedrine that cannot be made into methamphetamine.

KMOX reports that Highland Pharmaceuticals, based in St. Louis, has developed a form of pseudoephedrine that is resistant to tampering and extraction. The company says the drug, called Tarex, is designed to deter misuse of the medication.

Jason Grellner, Detective in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, told the news station, “When individuals attempt to extract the pseudoephedrine from the tablet, they can only get a very, very small percentage of the active pseudoephedrine out, and even the amount of pseudoephedrine they do get out cannot be converted into the drug methamphetamine.” The news report calls Grellner one of the nation’s top meth investigators.

The company notes pseudoephedrine is the main ingredient used in meth production. “There are many and varied methods that can be implemented to extract pseudoephedrine from cough-cold products,” the company notes on its website. When Tarex is used, the company says, “the resulting material from the attempted extraction process cannot be utilized in subsequent steps to make meth. By interrupting this initial step in the meth making process, our technology has the potential to markedly impact this illicit drug industry.”

The company says it will be able to begin marketing the new formulation within six months.

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