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Fentanyl Lollipops Raising Concern

A narcotic painkiller in the shape of a lollipop designed to deliver quick relief to cancer patients is being sold on the street with the nickname “perc-a-pop.” The drug’s ease of use and sweet taste have law enforcement officials concerned about the potential for abuse.

Actiq (the brand name of the lozenges or lollipops containing the powerful narcotic Fentanyl) dissolves quickly, and patients swab the stick inside their mouths (cheeks, under the tongue, and on the gums) for effective usage.

Fentanyl is said to be more potent than morphine and is often used as an anesthetic before surgery procedures. Excessive use of fentanyl can cause death. Due to its powerful properties, fentanyl is the drug of choice for cancer patients. The drug is also dispensed as a transdermal patch under the brand name Duragesic.

Each Actiq lozenge retails for $9.10, and the street value of a “perc-a-pop” is $20.

“Like any opioid, there is a potential for misuse,” said company spokeswoman Stacey Backhardt. She said the company believes, however, “there has not been a substantial diversion of this product in the state or elsewhere.”

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