SCIO briefing on fentanyl-related substances control

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Liu Yuejin, deputy director of China's National Narcotics Control Commission and counter-terrorism commissioner of the Ministry of Public Security;

Wang Hesheng, deputy director of the National Health Commission;

Chen Shifei, deputy head of the National Medical Products Administration;

Hu Kaihong, spokesperson for the State Council Information Office of China

April 1, 2019

I have two questions. One is that, after including all fentanyl-related substances under control, will legitimate pharmaceutical companies producing related products see more rigid regulation to avoid their products being used illegally? The other is about industrial hemp that has received much attention recently. We noticed that the National Narcotic Control Committee has issued several statements before. We want to know if the many domestic companies involved in the planting and purification of hemp are acting legally and if there will be more rigid regulatory measures for industrial hemp in the future. Thank you.

Chen Shifei:

The Chinese government joined the United Nations' Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in 1985. The former health ministry issued measures to control narcotic drugs in 1987, which listed fentanyl, sufentanil, and alfentanil as narcotics for regulation. The government has been taking rigorous measures to control narcotics through the processes of scientific research, production, distribution, use and export. All related scientific research programs require registration and approval. Production is limited to appointed manufacturers with the quantities prescribed. The distribution is also strictly confined to fixed channels to avoid related products entering illegal channels and causing undesirable consequences. A mechanism that involves producers, suppliers and medical institutions has been functioning well and prevented undesirable consequences from happening.

As for the export of narcotic drugs, we handle this with strict approval and control procedures within the framework of the UN. Currently, the amounts of exports are quite small. I think our current regulatory measures for narcotic drugs including fentanyl-related substances are efficacious and adequate. Thank you.

Liu Yuejin:

I will briefly answer the question regarding "industrial marijuana." Here in China, we have rigorous management procedures and total quantity control over the production, plantation, storage, and transportation of "industrial marijuana." All this has proceeded under the strict supervision and control of relevant government departments. Therefore, as far as this problem is concerned, there are no serious violations in our country. Currently, on the premise that many countries have legalized marijuana, China will tighten up its supervision and control over "industrial marijuana," close all loopholes, and improve all kinds of management systems. Thank you.

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