February 17, 2017

ICYMI: WSJ: China Moves to Keep Its Deadly Opioids Out of U.S.

ICYMI: WSJ: China Moves to Keep Its Deadly Opioids Out of U.S.

WASHINGTON – Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that China is moving to stop the flow of deadly drugs -- including carfentanil and other fentanyl analogues – into the United States.

“The news that China is cracking down on fentanyl-like synthetics is very encouraging, and we must continue working with China to ensure that they take meaningful steps to enforce these new measures. In addition, we must continue to push for legislation that will crack down on the flow of these deadly drugs into our country -- which is why I was proud to help introduce the STOP Act, a bipartisan bill that will provide us more data to help stop the flow of dangerous synthetic drugs into the United States. I urge my colleagues to take up this legislation without delay.”

The Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act is designed to stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped across our borders. Specifically, the bill would require shipments from foreign countries through the United States Postal Service to provide electronic advance data – such as who and where it is coming from, who it’s going to, where it is going, and what’s in it – before they cross our borders and enter the United States. Having this information in advance will enable Customs and Border Protection to better target potential illegal packages and keep these dangerous drugs from ending up in the hands of drug traffickers who want to harm our local communities.

Click here for the full WSJ story or see below for excerpts:

China moved to stem its flow of deadly drugs to the U.S., adding four lethal heroin-like narcotics to a list of controlled substances after Washington had urged it to help combat a growing opioid epidemic.

The added substances notably include carfentanil, which is 10,000 times as potent as morphine and is used as a tranquilizer for elephants and other large animals. Carfentanil is a chemical cousin of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Both are contributors to the rise in fatal overdoses in the U.S., where the government has declared the epidemic a public-health crisis.

…The new action aims to close a loophole. While fentanyl has long been designated a controlled substance in China, similar compounds known as analogues have been more loosely regulated and were easier to export. That has contributed to China becoming a factory for some synthetic opioids.

…Besides carfentanil, China said it would also place under control three other analogues: furanyl fentanyl, acryl fentanyl and valeryl fentanyl.