New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to ban drugs that mimic the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl, the Democrat announced Monday.
While some fentanyl analogs are prohibited by the federal government’s controlled substances schedule, they’re not listed in New York’s schedule. That loophole prevents prosecution unless the fentanyl analog is mixed with a banned substance, Cuomo said.
Legislation banning fentanyl analogs will be the second proposal of his 2020 State of the State agenda, Cuomo said. He said he’ll also propose a series of actions to expand medication assisted treatment of opioid abuse disorder.
Cuomo said efforts to fight the opioid epidemic have led to a decline in overall overdose deaths for the first time in a decade last year. “Despite this progress, drug dealers have turned to lacing opioids and other illicit drugs with fentanyl analogs—a deadly synthetic opioid that current law does not ban,” Cuomo said.
Overdose deaths involving fentanyl and its analogs among New Yorkers outside of New York City increased 124 percent in 2016 and by another 28 percent in 2017, Cuomo said.
The proposed legislation will give law enforcement the authority to prosecute the manufacturing, sale and distribution of fentanyl analogs and enable the state health commissioner to add new analogs to the list of controlled substances as they appear on the market.