More than 50 so-called designer drugs have been declared illegal in Switzerland since December 1st as part of an effort to crack down on online trading.
Under the amended law on narcotic substances, the production, sale and use of 52 synthesised substances and seven classes of compounds are newly illegal.
Switzerland is now on a par with neighbouring countries and therefore should avoid becoming a transit site for the illegal drugs market, according to the interior ministry and Swissmedic – the agency which authorises therapeutic products.
The new law allows the government to act efficiently to keep up with this rapidly-evolving illegal market, with reviews of available drugs taking place “several times per year”.
Companies and laboratories which routinely use the banned substances will have to seek special authorisation from the interior ministry from now on.
Designer drugs, sometimes sold in the guise of bath salts or plant food, are synthesised substances which mimic the effects of mainly recreational drugs.
In compliance with the JTI standards