The State Food and Drug Administration has issued new regulations restricting the sale of a number of cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine without a prescription. Pseudoephedrine can be used as a chemical precursor in the manufacture of methamphetamine (crystal meth) and methcathinone (m-cat). All medicine containing over 30mg of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine will now require a prescription.
US pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline will likely bear the brunt of the new restrictions, as the company’s popular Contac cold and flu medicine contains pseudoephedrine. Sales of Contac amount to nearly 20 billion yuan, according to 21cbh.com (CN).
Jiangsu authorities reported a case where 800 boxes of Contac were used in producing 95 grams of meth, with a street value of around 60,000 yuan.
These new restrictions ignore the fact that the majority of meth available in China enters the country through North Korea and Burma.
[H/T: Bill Bishop]