Lawmaker wants counterfeit drug banned

Rhode Island Statehouse

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – New legislation is being introduced in Rhode Island that would ban online sales of a synthetic drug that has been blamed for deaths across the country,

The drug, U-47700, also known as “pink” has been responsible for at least 15 confirmed deaths since last year, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The DEA is working to place the counterfeit drug on its list of the most dangerous banned substances.

Rep. Joseph McNamara of Warwick says he will file a bill that will be considered when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.

“We have to be extra diligent in updating the law and keeping the public safe,” said Rep. McNamara.

Four states have recently implemented emergency bans.

The drug was invented in 1978 by a pharmaceutical company looking for a morphine alternative but was never approved for use.