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Canada Seeks to Restrict Six Chemicals Used in Fentanyl Production

Health Canada is proposing to move forward with plans to restrict six chemicals used in the production of fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid analgesic, as part of efforts to confront a growing number of opioid overdoses and deaths across the country. Originally proposed by Sen. Vern White in Public Bill S-225, the regulatory proposal would ban the unauthorised importation and exportation of propionyl chloride, 1-phenethyl-4-piperidone and its salts, 4-piperidone and its salts, norfentanyl (N-phenyl-N-piperidin-4-ylpropanamide) and its salts, 1-phenethylpiperidin-4-ylidenephenylamine and its salts, and N-phenyl-4-piperidinamine and its salts by designating those chemicals as class A precursors under schedule VI to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Canadian authorities indicate that deaths involving fentanyl have risen markedly in several Canadian provinces and an increasing number of law enforcement drug seizures have been shown to contain this chemical. Fentanyl misuse first became prominent with the diversion of pharmaceutical forms of the drug, such as the patch. Health Canada regularly monitors the emergence of new substances onto the illicit drug market and works closely with law enforcement to address them as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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