At Urging of U.S., UN Commission Acts Against “Precursor” Chemicals Used to Produce Illicit Fentanyl
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) voted to control three chemicals used by drug traffickers to produce illicit fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that is driving overdose deaths in the United States. At the request of the United States, and with the recommendation of the International Narcotics Control Board, the Commission’s Member States voted unanimously to take international action and control the acquisition, production, and export of three precursors used to manufacture illicit fentanyl and its analogues.
“President Biden has made clear that ending the overdose epidemic is a top priority. As part of the Administration’s efforts to reduce the supply of illicit fentanyl driving overdose deaths, the United States called on the global community to regulate three chemicals commonly used to produce it, and today that call was answered,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). “This new action makes it more difficult for drug traffickers to obtain and use these chemicals for illicit purposes. It will also help disrupt synthetic drug trafficking that not only leads to deaths caused by overdose, but also corruption, drug-related violence, and insecurity. The collective work of the international community to address global drug-related challenges has never been more important. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to building on today’s progress.”
“Today’s decision to place these chemicals under international control will save lives by reducing their access to criminals. What we did here today will matter for years to come,” said Ambassador Laura S. H. Holgate, Representative of the United States of America to the Vienna Office of the United Nations.
Today’s action by CND adds three fentanyl precursor chemicals – 4-anilinopiperidine (4-AP), 1-(tert-butoxycarbonyl)-4-phenylaminopiperidine (boc-4-AP), and N-phenyl-N-(piperidin-4-yl) propionamide (norfentanyl) – to the list of chemicals under Table I of the 1988 Convention Against Illicit Traffic of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, one of the three international drug control conventions that guide global efforts to reduce drug use and trafficking. The CND also voted today to schedule brorphine and metonitazene, two synthetic opioids, under Schedule I of the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs and eutylone, a synthetic stimulant, under Schedule II of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. This action obligates signatories to these Conventions to establish national laws to control these substances.
In March 2017, in response to an official request from the United States, the CND voted unanimously to control two chemicals that were the most common means to produce illicit fentanyl and fentanyl analogues – N-phenethylpiperidone (NPP) and 4-anilino-N-phenethylpiperidine (ANPP). Adding these additional fentanyl precursors to the 1988 Convention makes it difficult for traffickers to access them for illicit purposes, as this action obligates UN member states to institute control measures to monitor the manufacture and distribution of these precursor chemicals.
Read about additional actions taken by the Biden-Harris Administration to address addiction and the overdose epidemic HERE.