DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Extension of Temporary Scheduling of Substance; Fentanyl-Related Substances as a Schedule I Controlled Substance
[49 Pa.B. 1224]
[Saturday, March 16, 2019]
The Secretary of Health (Secretary) of the Department of Health (Department) is issuing this notice of intent to extend the temporarily scheduling of fentanyl-related substances for an additional year. On March 17, 2018, the Secretary issued a final order temporarily scheduling fentanyl-related substances that were not at the time listed in any schedule of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (act) (35 P.S. §§ 780-101— 780-144). This extension of the temporary scheduling will maintain fentanyl-related substances in schedule I under the act while the Secretary goes forward with permanently scheduling fentanyl-related substances as schedule I substances.
In this Commonwealth, there has been an increase in use of fentanyl-related substances to mix with heroin and other substances (such as cocaine and methamphetamine) or used in counterfeit pharmaceutical prescription drugs. These substances have a high potential for abuse and are widely available over the Internet. This prompted the Secretary to schedule fentanyl-related substances as schedule I controlled substances on a temporary basis.
Legal Authority and Action
Under section 3 of the act, (35 P.S. § 780-103), the Secretary shall control all substances listed in schedules I—V of the act. Under section 3(d) of the act, the Secretary is authorized to schedule any substance on a temporary basis to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety. Additionally, under section 3(d)(2) of the act, the temporary scheduling of a substance shall expire at the end of 1 year from the date of publication of the final notice scheduling of the substance, except that the Secretary may, during the pendency of proceedings under subsection (a), extend the temporary scheduling for up to additional year by publishing a subsequent notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin prior to the expiration of the initial notice.
Because fentanyl-related substances were temporarily scheduled as schedule I substances by the publication of the final notice scheduling fentanyl-related substances on March 17, 2018, and the Secretary is currently going forward with permanently scheduling those substances, the Secretary has the authority to extend the temporary schedule of fentanyl-related substances under the act.
For additional information, or persons with a disability who require an alternative format of this notice (for example, large print, audiotape, Braille) should contact the Department of Health, Bureau of Community Program Licensure and Certification, Division of Home Health, Drug, Device and Cosmetics Program, 132A Kline Plaza, Harrisburg, PA 17104, (717) 783-1379, or for speech and/or hearing impaired persons, call the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users).
RACHEL L. LEVINE, MD,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-374. Filed for public inspection March 15, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]
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