This week I want to highlight an interesting article I came across about fentanyl and China’s role in production. Below you’ll find this article and my thoughts on its implications.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed below are those of Mark Pew, Senior Vice President of Product Development and Marketing, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Preferred Medical.
China has pledged to crack down on fentanyl production and create harsher punishments for those who manufacture and sell it. This is important because China has been called the “largest source of illicit fentanyl and fentanyl-like substances in the United States.” Recently, China has been criticized for not doing enough to stop the drug from reaching the US (either direct through postal services or across the border). And since fentanyl has been involved in more overdoses than ever before, many experts believe this promise could initiate a decline in such overdose deaths. However, some people are less optimistic stating that you can’t just address the routes of the drug but must also address the drivers of the demand for that drug in order to truly make an impact. Many experts feel that other countries will begin producing fentanyl instead, so the problem will not be fixed at all. Because there are many stakeholders and drivers of the opioid epidemic, overdose deaths are more complicated than a single policy change. But ever single action matters.
An important story in regards to the #opioid epidemic…
“China has reportedly pledged to designate the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl and similar drugs as controlled substances, subjecting those who sell them to harsher punishments and potentially slowing their flow into the U.S.”
As I blogged about on 7/5/16 (“Fentanyl Folly“) and 11/15/16 (“Overseas Opioids“), “entrepreneurs” in China have been a key component in the rise of #fentanyl (and it’s various analogues) in the US. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the growth in deaths from fentanyl is staggering…
The only thing that kept the statistics from being even worse is the increased access to naloxone to reverse the overdoses. For the sake of thousands of people, this promise needs to turn into action.
To read everything on my mind this past week, please visit me on LinkedIn, at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/marks-musings-december-10-mark-rxprofessor-pew/.
Until next week,