Correction: China-Carfentanil story – ABC News

In a Feb. 16 story about China banning the synthetic opioid carfentanil, The Associated Press misidentified Yu Haibin as the director of the Office of the National Narcotics Control Committee. He is a division director at the Ministry of Public Security’s Narcotics Control Bureau.

A corrected version of the story is below:

China carfentanil ban a ‘game-changer’ for opioid epidemic

China is adding the deadly drug carfentanil and three similar opioids to its controlled substances list effective March 1

By ERIKA KINETZ

Associated Press

SHANGHAI (AP) — 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, a division director at the Ministry of Public Security’s Narcotics Control Bureau, 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.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration called China’s move a potential “game-changer” that is likely to have a big impact in the U.S., where opioid demand has driven the proliferation of a new class of deadly drugs made by nimble chemists to stay one step ahead of new rules like this one. After China controlled 116 synthetic drugs in October 2015, seizures in the United States of compounds on that list plunged.

“It’s a substantial step in the fight against opioids here in the United States,” said Russell Baer, a DEA special agent in Washington. “We’re persuaded it will have a definite impact.”

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