China to Regulate All Fentanyl-Related Drugs

All fentanyl-related drugs will be regulated as a class of controlled substances, China announced Monday.

The change has long been urged by U.S. officials as a way to slow the supply of deadly opioids from China, the Associated Press reported.

China's new regulations take effect May 1.

American officials have said that China is the main source of synthetic opioids that arrive in the United States directly by mail or via Mexico, but China denies that claim, the AP reported.

China already had controls on 25 variants of fentanyl, as well as two precursors used to make the drug. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration data show that when China bans a variant of fentanyl, seizures of that analog in the United States decline.

"We firmly believe that listing the entire class of fentanyl substances will completely block the loopholes that enable law breakers to evade punishment by simply modifying one or several atoms, functional groups or other groups," Liu Yuejin, vice commissioner of China's National Narcotics Control Commission, told the AP.

"It will effectively prevent the massive abuse of fentanyl substances and illegal drug trafficking and smuggling activities, and contribute to global drug control...," Liu added.

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