1. Can good quality crystal meth really be made as in Breaking Bad?

  2. Can a pharmaceutical drug really be reverse-engineered?

  • $\begingroup$ I've no idea what you mean by the second sentence and what it has to do with your first question. And I'm not sure if the first question is really on-topic here. $\endgroup$ Jul 3, 2014 at 8:40
  • $\begingroup$ There's a lot of ambiguity in your question. "Good quality" would need to be defined, and whether it can be "sold" is definitely outside of our scope here. As @MadScientist mentioned, we can attempt to decipher what you mean (as the answerer has), but it's not immediately evident. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Jul 3, 2014 at 11:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ by good quality i mean to say the type of meth that is really synthesized to great purity.....as in walter does? and as for pharmaceutical drug...... yes....as far as i know though i have not seen breaking bad ..... but walter does take some pseudoephedrine convert it to meth ..... but in general is it possible to take a drug or any thing for example coca cola ....reverse engineer it ? $\endgroup$ Jul 3, 2014 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. It's what we call chemistry. That is literally the whole point of chemistry. $\endgroup$
    – Jori
    Jul 3, 2014 at 23:50

1 Answer 1


Can good quality crystal meth really be made and sold as in Breaking Bad?

Yes, most procedures are accurate, although the whole methylamine is so hard to get idea in Breaking Bad is nonsense. It is DEA List I chemical, but can be easily manufactured and no sane kingpin would go steal it from a cargo train (although it makes a good scene). The real problem is getting the P2P (phenyl-2-propanone, or phenylacetone) which the authors of breaking bad seem to ignore (probably on purpose, so that stupid kids won't try and make it at home).

Can a pharmaceutical drug really be reverse engineered?

Reversed engineered? Assuming you are talking about the transition of pseudoephedrine into methamphetamine, this is just a chemical reduction, following this scheme (if this kid wants to make meth, he would have found this procedure anyway, I'm not giving out any special information that would help anyone manufacture methamphetamine).

Methamphetamine from pseudoephedrine

  • $\begingroup$ I believe that by "reverse-engineered" they are referring to whether one could determine the method of preparation of the product after just seeing the product. Of course this isn't feasible, given the numerous substrates, conditions and reagents that may have been used in the preparation. $\endgroup$
    – kushal
    Oct 4, 2020 at 14:33

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