SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Korea Bizwire) – Going forward, pharmaceutical firms, hospitals, medical professionals and all other actors that deal with narcotics and psychotropic drugs will be required to maintain a detailed electronic log regarding their use.
The government announced February 9 a legal revision detailing this stipulation will begin to be enforced starting in May.
All matters, from manufacturing, import, distribution and use, must be registered with an electronic database titled “narcotics handling and distribution management system” operated by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.
The move is interpreted as the government deciding to ramp up oversight of drug circulation.
The legal revision in addition will create a new categorical distinction called “priority control products”, under which commonly abused psychotropic drugs such as propofol will be classified. A total of 23 different types of propofol will be designated as priority control products.
Propofol is commonly used in medical procedures to induce anesthesia. A quick-acting drug, it is reported that patients fall rapidly in and out of sedation. In addition, propofol leaves no trace in the body after it is ejected through urine.
Cases of misuse of propofol by celebrities both Korean and otherwise have been reported in the past.
In 2012, Korean-American public personality Amy was convicted of illicit propofol use and was sentenced to an eight-month prison term and two years of probation.
In perhaps the most famous case of propofol use gone wrong, the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson passed away from an overdose of the drug, described in the autopsy report as “acute propofol intoxication”.
Handlers of priority control products will be given a deadline of one week to register their reports (seven days from the day of use).