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Acura debuts abuse-resistant decongestant Nexafed

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Acura Pharmaceuticals Inc. jumped Monday after the company said it is now selling a new version of the decongestant pseudoephedrine that is more difficult to make into methamphetamine.

The drug is called Nexafed, and Acura said it contains inactive ingredients that turn into a thick gel if anyone tries to extract the pseudoephedrine. That means the chemical won't crystallize and can't be made into crystal meth. The Palatine, Ill., company said Nexafed will deliver the same cold and allergy relief as other versions of pseudoephedrine and it will cost about as much as similar cold and allergy remedies.

Legislators have taken steps in recent years to combat meth, including a law that took effect this year requiring retailers to enter information about the sale of medications that contains pseudoephedrine onto a national online tracking system.

Acura Pharmaceutical shares jumped 92 cents, or 64.4 percent, to $2.35 in afternoon trading.