China bans synthetic opioids:
China said Monday it would ban a designer drug called U-47700 and three others, following US pressure to do more to control synthetic opioids blamed for fast-rising overdose deaths in the United States.
In China, U-47700 has until now been a legal alternative to fentanyl and potent derivatives like carfentanil. Its usage has been growing among US opioid addicts.
Last year, the US Drug Enforcement Administration listed U-47700 in the category of the most dangerous drugs it regulates, saying it was associated with dozens of fatalities, mostly in New York and North Carolina. Some of the pills taken from Prince’s estate after the musician’s overdose death last year contained U-47700.
The DEA has long said that China is the top source country for synthetic opioids like fentanyl and its precursors, assertions Beijing has said lack firm evidence. Still, the two countries have deepened cooperation as the US opioid epidemic intensifies.