The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) issued a warning to the public on the inclusion of an additional substance in the list of dangerous drugs based on regulations issued by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB).
PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr. cited DDB Regulation Number 2, Series of 2013, which was approved and adopted on September 12, 2013, has classified Methylephedrine as a dangerous drug and all compounds, mixtures and preparations containing this substance, including its salts, isomers and salts of isomers.
“Methylephedrine and its derivatives shall be subjected to all regulatory and control measures provided for in Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and rules and regulations promulgated by the DDB,” Cacdac said.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), an independent foundation created to fight against the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports, has also included methylephedrine in their 2013 Prohibited List, International Standard under item S6 (b).
The illicit substance is a prohibited stimulant that may induce increased blood pressure, cardio-vascular stress and priapism and has high potential for abuse. “But we have enough medications available in the Philippine market that can yield the same therapeutic effects as that of methylephedrine,” he said.
Methylephedrine was found in the clandestine mini-shabu laboratory dismantled in Barangay Potrero, Malabon on May 28, 2012. It was proven to be a precursor of ephedrine, also a controlled substance used in the manufacture of shabu.
“Thirty-five pieces of self-sealing plastic bags containing methylephedrine were found inside the illegal storage facility in Barangay Potrero, Malabon.
The PDEA Laboratory Service analyzed the seized samples, essential chemical and reagents and arrived at a conclusion that methylephedrine is a resolving agent that can be used as a starting material for the production of ephedrine via demethylation of amine by a strong acid,” Cacdac explained.
A resolving agent is used to determine the amount of compound with the same chemical formula but with different chemical structure in a mixture.
The PDEA Chief said that based on the foregoing DDB Regulations, PDEA as the lead anti-drug agency in partnership with the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Bureau of Customs (BOC) and other instrumentalities in the field of drug law enforcement will include this substance in their close monitoring and will apprehend those possessing the dangerous drug. PNA