- Associated Press - Monday, October 24, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island lawmaker says he’s introducing a bill to ban online sales of a new synthetic opioid blamed for overdose deaths around the country.

Warwick Democratic Rep. Joseph McNamara, chairman of the House’s health committee, said Monday he is filing legislation that will be considered when the state’s General Assembly reconvenes in January.

The drug, U-47700, is also known as “pink.” The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says it’s aware of at least 15 confirmed fatalities associated with the counterfeit drug since last year and is working to place it on its list of the most dangerous banned substances.

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

Several states have recently implemented emergency bans.

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