State pharmacy board to consider banning deadly synthetic drug

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The state pharmacy board will soon consider an emergency ban of a deadly new drug.

In response to overdose deaths across the nation and two in Bloomington this month, The Indiana Board of Pharmacy will look into adopting an emergency ban of U-47700. The drug is being sold online and marketed with the intent of "not for human consumption," but drug abusers are getting their hands on the drug and feeling the dangerous effects.

The board's next meeting is Monday, Sept. 12. According to state law, the board will consider the potential for abuse, medical use in treatment and safety in determining if the drug will be banned.

The board will consider current scientific knowledge of the drug, along with it's effects and risk to public health. The problem is, according to experts, many don't even know what's in the drug. It's cheap and easy to purchase online, but often times is sold from labs in other countries like China, then sent to the United States.

Senator Jim Merritt (R-Ind.) said the board banning the drug would be a step in the right direction.

"It’s a scary situation. Something that can kill elephants, I hope that we can capture this," Merritt said.

He understands though, just how difficult it can be to ban synthetic drugs, when chemists are constantly creating new ones.

"I call it a Whack-a-mole. It seems like anytime that we’re outlawing one synthetic drug or another. We have another one springing forth," Merritt said. He added, "I feel like we’re on the treadmill. I feel like we’re on the hamster wheel and I feel like getting in front of this is going to be very difficult. We just have to have a constant vigilance to keep our kids safe."

If the board votes for an emergency ban, the drug would be made illegal 30 days after it's filed.

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