China to expand restricted substance list to curb fentanyl abuse: expert

By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/25 23:33:39

Restricted substance list to curb fentanyl abuse


China is expected to put two of the main chemicals used to make the opioid painkiller fentanyl on its list of controlled substances in the latest effort to crack down on the global drug abuse crisis which has caused thousands of overdose deaths in the US, Canada and around the world, according to an expert with China's public security authority.

"We have suggested two chemicals - NPP and 4-ANPP, precursors of fentanyl, be included in the control list, and we have submitted the proposal to the State Council," Hua Zhendong, technical director of National Narcotics Laboratory of China National Narcotics Control Commission, told the Global Times Monday.

Once the two chemicals are restricted it will be much more difficult for black market laboratories  to make fentanyl, helping to curb its abuse by drug addicts, Hua said.

China has also taken a series of measures this year that aim to curb the abuse of new psychoactive substances.

China's MPS, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Health and Family Planning Commission added four substances - acrylfentanyl, carfentanyl, furanylfentanyl and valerylfentanyl - to a supplementary list of controlled non-medical narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, an action that took effect on March 1.

"The four substances used to make fentanyl were newly added because we have detected them several times this year in parcels that were about to be sent to foreign countries," Hua said, adding that the laboratory would step up checks to parcels.

China currently regulates 23 fentanyl-related substances, more than the number on the UN's fentanyl control list of 15 and the US list of 20, Wei Xiaojun, an official with The MPS's Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) said at a press conference in early November.

China has also strengthened cooperation with foreign countries in cracking down on fentanyl-related crimes last year.

According to Deng Ming, deputy head of China National Narcotics Control Commission, China has cooperated with more than 20 countries including the US, Canada and Sweden, to crack down on crimes involving new psychoactive substances.

Specifically, the NCB has strengthened cooperation with the US Drug Enforcement Administration in intelligence sharing, joint investigations and evidence gathering this year, Wei said.

Despite China's proactive measures, the US has accused China of being a source for the drug that has caused thousands of overdose deaths.

An article published on the multi-media website Vox on Thursday said that US law enforcement officials believed that most of the fentanyl came from labs in China.


Newspaper headline: Effort to stop opioid crisis


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