Bioethics News

China Bans Carfentanil, Possible ‘Game-Changer’ in US Opioid Epidemic

February 16, 2017

(STAT News) – So deadly it’s considered a terrorist threat, carfentanil has been legal in China — until now. Beijing is banning carfentanil and three similar drugs as of March 1, China’s Ministry of Public Security said Thursday, closing a major regulatory loophole in the fight to end America’s opioid epidemic. “It shows China’s attitude as a responsible big country,” Yu Haibin, the director of the Office of the National Narcotics Control Committee, told the Associated Press. “It will be a strong deterrent.” He added that China is actively considering other substances for sanction, including U-47700, an opioid marketed as an alternative to banned fentanyls. China said the March 1 ban will also apply to carfentanil’s less-potent cousins furanyl fentanyl, acryl fentanyl, and valeryl fentanyl.

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