Dividends: Dropping the Last 'Lude

The drug produces a kind of mellow euphoria. Introduced in 1965 as a prescription sleeping pill, it was designed to provide a "quiet interlude," hence the name: Quaalude. But the sedative, whose generic name is methaqualone, became a notoriously abused drug. In a dubious tribute, one rock star even had a character in his act named Quay Lewd.

Last week the only legal manufacturer of 'ludes in the U.S., the Lemmon Co. of Sellersville, Pa., announced it was halting production. Lemmon said Quaalude's reputation was hurting the whole firm.

Rampant misuse and counterfeiting has prompted officials to clamp down on Quaalude. Nine...