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Fruth recognized for stop-meth efforts

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POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Lynne Fruth, President of Fruth Pharmacy, has been honored for her company’s commitment to help prevent the sale of drugs used in the making of methamphetamine, known as “meth.”

Fruth anti-meth award

From left: Chris Chiles of Sen. Joe Manchin’s Office; Lynne Fruth, president of Fruth Pharmacy; and Dr. Brad Henry, chairman of Stop Meth Labs.

At the West Virginia State Capitol Building, Fruth participated in the Our Children, Our Future Policy Summit, where she was asked to talk about her pharmacy chain’s decision to remove single-ingredient pseudoephedrine products. Pseudoephedrine is the key ingredient used in making meth, a dangerous drug whose production and abuse has become a serious problem in communities nationwide.

This year, West Virginia saw a reduction in meth labs. Dr. Bradley Henry, M.D., R.Ph., chairman of Stop Meth Labs, presented Fruth with a certificate of appreciation for “Socially Responsible Actions to Combat Meth Labs” in West Virginia.

“It is easy to think that one person cannot make a difference in the world today, but I still believe that individuals and companies can make a difference,” Fruth said in accepting the honor. “I am proud that a small pharmacy chain like ours led the way to remove pseudoephedrine from all our stores.”

Overall, Fruth Pharmacy has 28 locations in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. About two years ago, the chain partnered with Acura Pharmaceuticals Inc., the maker of Nexafed, a nasal decongestant with meth-making deterrent properties. If someone tries to use Nexafed to make meth, the product’s Impede polymer matrix technology turns the medicine into an unusable gel.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) has taken up the cause of stopping meth production in West Virginia and contacted chief executives of major pharmacy chains to urge them to follow Fruth Pharmacy’s lead in providing an alternative decongestant product, according to the drug chain.

“The response our company received was nothing short of amazing. Our customers supported our decision and thanked us for taking such a bold step,” Fruth noted. “I heard from people all across the U.S. after our decision was announced to stop carrying single-ingredient pseudoephedrine products from our stores. What I learned from letters and e-mails was that meth affects all social and economic backgrounds.  Many families were experiencing the nightmare of a loved one addicted to meth.”

In upcoming weeks, Fruth is slated to speak at a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C.hosted by Manchin. The senator and Fruth will share with other states how West Virginia addressed the meth problem and how their states can do the same. The drug chain added that CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have previously spokem with Fruth and Manchin about the meth issue and have taken steps to reduce their pseudoephedrine products.

“I would like to thank the committee for this recognition and look forward to working with other companies to continue to make West Virginia a better and safer place to live,” Fruth commented.


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