Scheduling of new psychoactive substance the Swiss way: A review and critical analysis.

Grafinger, Katharina; Bernhard, Werner; Weinmann, Wolfgang (2019). Scheduling of new psychoactive substance the Swiss way: A review and critical analysis. Science & justice, 59(4), pp. 459-466. Elsevier 10.1016/j.scijus.2019.03.005

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Since the introduction of the European Early Warning System in 2005, >700 new psychoactive substances (NPS) have been listed. This review article presents for the first time the Swiss narcotic law in perspective of scheduling of NPS, and compares it to the regulations of the German speaking neighbours Austria and Germany. The Swiss way is a fast and effective way for scheduling NPS, with the purpose to restrict drug trafficking and for controlling the NPS drug market: the legal basis for scheduling substances of abuse is the "Law about narcotics and psychotropic substances" (BetmG, SR 812.121), which includes the "narcotic law directory (BetmVV-EDI, SR 812.121.11) suitable for listing all controlled substances. The BetmVV-EDI, SR 812.121.11 contains seven indices, with index e specifically designed for the fast scheduling of NPS. Newly appearing NPS can either be controlled under a structure analogues definition or by listing single substances. The list of single substances is updated at least once per year, and structure analogues definitions can be implemented, in order to keep track with new developments on the NPS market. The latest version from November 30th 2018 contains ten different structure analogue definitions and 207 single substances. Requirements to list NPS are their appearance on the NPS market, suspected psychotropic effects and their suggestions by Forensic professionals. As soon as substances are newly placed, on Schedule I of the 1961 Convention or Schedule II of the 1971 Convention by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the World Health Organization they can easily be transferred from index e to index a-d of the BetmVV-EDI, SR 812.121.11. The Austrian law uses a structure analogue and single substances approach (introduced in 2012, one update in 2016), whereas the German NPS law (established in 2016, no update yet) only lists two structure-analogue-definitions. All three legislations have defined which core structures, kinds and sites of substitutions are regulated.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Grafinger, Katharina; Bernhard, Werner and Weinmann, Wolfgang


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Antoinette Angehrn

Date Deposited:

26 Aug 2019 14:58

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 20:22

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

BetmVV-EDI Narcotics law New psychoactive substances SR 812.121.11 Scheduling




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