Thursday, October 18, 2012

UK study definitively shows that meth labs proliferate in state's counties where pseudoephedrine sales are high

A University of Kentucky research study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week shows a direct correlation between pseudoephedrine sales and methamphetamine production in Kentucky counties. Pdeudoephedrine, the main ingredient in Sudafed and similar decongestants, is the key feedstock for meth labs. The General Assembly further limited its sale this year.

“We find that counties where more pseudoephedrine is sold, more methamphetamine lab seizures are reported. Even though Kentucky requires pseudoephedrine sales to be tracked electronically, in real-time, the per-capita sales in some counties appear to be aberrant. Our results indicate a 565-fold variation in pseudoephedrine sales between counties. It is highly improbable that demand for pseudoephedrine in these counties is solely due to cough/cold/allergy,” explained Jeffrey Talbert, director of the College of  Pharmacy's Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy.

The other authors of the study are College of Pharmacy faculty members Karen Blumenschein and Trish Freeman, staff member Amy Burke, and Arnold Stromberg of UK’s Department of Statistics. For a copy of their report, click here.


  1. What about internet sales of pseudoephedrine?

  2. With all respect, instead of this question:
    - "What percentage of pseudoephedrine goes to honest patients, knowing that the rest goes to me cooks?"
    I'd prefer an answer to this one:
    - "How to deprive meth cooks of their key ingredient without putting an unfair burden on honest patients?"

    Well, there might be an answer: a new formulation process has been found by a small US company where pseudoephedrine cannot be converted into meth:
    Good new for honest patients, bad news for meth cooks.