Indiana Board of Pharmacy votes to ban deadly new drug

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The Indiana Board of Pharmacy voted unanimously to ban a powerful new drug that's likely to blame for the death of two Bloomington residents. 

U-47700 is a synthetic drug that can easily be purchased online. The drug is made for use in veterinary offices as a sedative, but drug abusers across the country have been taking the drug. On Monday morning, the state board of pharmacy voted to make U-47700 a schedule I drug, meaning it will be illegal in the state.

"Our laws allow us to take a product like this and make it a schedule I if either another state has made it a controlled schedule I or has acted on it, or if we are to be asked by state police," said board president, Donna Wall, Pharm D.

Ohio and Oregon are two states who have also passed emergency bans on the drug.

At the Indiana State Police drug labs, chemists analyzed one sample of the drug. They're working to determine exactly what's in it.

"When we did see it, we ran it on the instruments here. We did not have the standard at the time," explained Elizabeth Griffin, the South Zone Drug Unit Supervisor for The Indiana State Police Lab.

Griffin said the drug was so new, labs needed to order materials for comparing. The drug lab works to identify drugs like U-47700, but have also seen new drugs pop up.

"We see all kinds of new drugs all the time, so we are constantly having to order new standards because the people who make these drugs will change it just a little bit," Griffin said.

The ban in Indiana will formally go into effect 30 days from action. That date will be October 12.

The ban is only an emergency rule, lasting until June 2017. State lawmakers will have to take separate action to make the drug permanently illegal.