The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) said Tuesday that it expects to add 26 new synthetic drugs to its list of temporary Schedule I substances, an emergency authority that’s used to control little-known, poorly researched new substances that the agency feels pose a threat to public health.
In the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, passed by the Senate in May and reconciled by the House last night, Congress agreed to expand the DEA’s authority to control such substances by fiat, expanding the time they can temporarily ban a new drug from 18 to 36 months. Congress also set up an explicit framework for identifying “similar chemical compounds” that produce the same or similar effects on humans as any other Schedule I substance.
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