Discarded by Pfizer, drug at center of New Haven overdose returns as black-market menace

A synthetic analgesic created in 2009 by Pfizer dubbed AB-Fubinaca was intended to relieve pain in cancer patients. However, the company's laboratory experiments were unsuccessful, and its research was halted and the drug abandoned, according to Pfizer spokeswoman Sally Beatty. Although the U.S.

A synthetic analgesic created in 2009 by Pfizer dubbed AB-Fubinaca was intended to relieve pain in cancer patients. However, the company's laboratory experiments were unsuccessful, and its research was halted and the drug abandoned, according to Pfizer spokeswoman Sally Beatty. Although the U.S. Patent Office never issued a patent for the drug, its blueprints had been released into the public domain, enabling scientists in other labs to continue its development. AB-Fubinaca is a designated schedule 1 controlled substance, but its various compounds have long been popular in illicit labs of China and other Asian nations. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) says synthetic cannabinoids, blended with versions of Fubinaca and other compounds, easily pass across the Mexican border, and are also available at low cost on the Internet. The drugs were recently implicated in a mass overdose in New Haven, CT. Curbing the spread of these substances is challenging for law enforcement and regulators because only a single change in the formula can produce a new drug, notes Rod Marriott, drug-control chief for the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.