31 August 2007
1. Exterior wide shot of pharmacy
2. Pharmacy sign
3. Pharmacy sign reading (Spanish) “Pharmacy with Discounts”
4. Pharmacist at counter
5. Medicines on shelf
6. Pharmacist searching for medicine on shelf
7. Clerk picks up product on shelf, pull back as he brings it to counter
8. Close up of box of medicine reading (Spanish) “New Formula Desenfriol D”
9. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Juan Carrera, pharmacist:
“Well, as of now this has a negative impact on sales because people were so used to pseudoephedrine”
10. Close of back of box
FILE: 15 July 2007
11. Wide of pharmacy
12. Man buying medicine
13. Pan over medicines
14. Various of medicines containing pseudoephedrine
Pharmacies in Mexico will no longer be able to sell over-the-counter medicines containing pseudoephedrine – a substance used in a wide variety of common cold remedies but which can also be used in the production of methamphetamine, known by the slang term crystal meth.
The Health Department announced on Wednesday that pharmacies across the country had until Friday to either sell or return their stocks of the nasal decongestant.
Only closely regulated pharmacies will now be allowed to sell drugs containing pseudoephedrine – and only with a prescription from a doctor.
The Health Department said pseudoephedrine had already been replaced in many cold remedies by substances that could not be used in meth production.
In a news release, the National Pharmacy Association said pharmacies had already been asked to limit each individual sale of medicines containing pseudoephedrine to 60 milligrams or less.
The new regulations echoed steps taken last year in the United States to limit direct access to the product, the amount customers could buy and requiring identification and a signature for each purchase.
Pseudoephedrine is found in products used to relieve nasal or sinus congestion and respiratory allergies, but also is the main ingredient used to make methamphetamine, defined by the US Food and Drug Administration as a “powerful, highly addictive stimulant.”
US Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Rusty Payne told The Associated Press earlier this month that once-widespread meth labs in the United States had been replaced by “superlabs” in Mexico and by Mexican-run labs in some US border states.
Illegal methamphetamine manufacturing became front-page news in Mexico on 15 March, when police found more than 207 (m) million US dollars hidden inside the walls of a Mexico City mansion owned by a Chinese-Mexican businessman, Zhenli Ye Gon.
Ye Gon was accused of importing 19 tons of a pseudoephedrine compound and has been charged with drug trafficking, money laundering and weapons possession.
He denies the allegations.
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