INCB President: scheduling of fentanyl precursors is a good example of how the conventions protect public health

VIENNA, 17 March (United Nations Information Service) – At the end of a successful 60th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Werner Sipp, said that the decision by the Commission to place under international control two precursors of fentanyl, ANPP and NPP, was a prime example of how the international drug control system can swiftly react to address emerging drug control challenges and threats to public health, and take concrete action to save lives.

The INCB had conducted an independent assessment of ANPP and NPP and recommended to the CND to include these two chemicals in Table I of the Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.  The CND followed this recommendation and decided unanimously to place these substances under international control.

Mr. Sipp highlighted the important role and responsibility of INCB in assessing chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of drugs in order to determine whether they should be placed under international control. This decision will not only save lives in the current fentanyl crisis, witnessed specifically in countries in North America, but it will also make it harder for criminals to illicitly produce a number of even more deadly fentanyl analogues.

The INCB President noted that this CND decision was another example of the preventive role of precursor control in addressing the world drug problem and encouraged Member States to begin to make the necessary provisions at the national level so that the decision can become fully effective as soon as possible. In the meantime, and as a temporary measure, the Board has included the two chemicals in the international special surveillance list of non-scheduled chemicals as a means of assisting national authorities in raising awareness of industry of the potential misuse of NPP and ANPP by traffickers. The INCB President added that the control measure will have no negative effect on the availability of ANPP and NPP for legitimate purposes, including for the manufacture of fentanyl for medical purposes.

The International Narcotic Control Board is the independent quasi-judicial body monitoring and promoting the implementation of the three international drug control conventions. The 60 th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs took place in Vienna from 13 to 17 March 2017.