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DEA Seeks to Clarify Import Restrictions on Fentanyl Products

On 6 February 2018, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued an order adding fentanyl-related substances to the list of schedule I controlled substances from 6 February 2018 through 6 February 2020. The order stated that whenever the DEA identified a new fentanyl-related substance the name of that substance would be published in the Federal Register and on the DEA website and such substance would automatically be covered by the order. On 19 April, the DEA published chemical descriptive information of the following five additional fentanyl-related substances:

  • N-(1-(2-fluorophenethyl)piperidin-4-yl)-N-(2-fluorophenyl)propionamide (2′- fluoro ortho-fluorofentanyl);
  • N-(2-methylphenyl)-N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)acetamide (ortho-methyl acetylfentanyl);
  • N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N,3-diphenylpropanamide (beta′-phenyl fentanyl; hydrocinnamoyl fentanyl);
  • N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylthiophene-2-carboxamide (thiofuranyl fentanyl); and
  • (E)-N-(1-phenethylpiperidin-4-yl)-N-phenylbut-2-enamide (crotonyl fentanyl).

The DEA’s announcement emphasised that “even in the absence of this publication providing the chemical names of the foregoing five substances that fall within the definition of a fentanyl-related substance, these five substances (along with any others that might be identified in the future)” were controlled from 6 February 2018 through 6 February 2020 based on the prior announcement. Thus, all fentanyl-related substances are now schedule 1 controlled substances.

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