The problem faced by cancer patients in the western countries is that of shortages and not counterfeit. However, there was a recent scare of counterfeit Avastin almost entering the supply chain through Canada.
Yesterday's passing of a bill co-sponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (R-CO), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is designed to nip this problem by toughening up penalties.
Senate Passes Bennet-Backed Bill to Crack Down on Counterfeit DrugsMarch 7, 2012
Bipartisan Bill Represents Latest Bennet Effort to Improve Drug Safety, Crack Down on Bad Actors
Bennet Renews Call for Universal System to Track Drugs Through the Supply and Distribution Chains
The U.S. Senate passed with broad bipartisan support a bill cosponsored by Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, along with Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), to crack down on counterfeit drug trafficking by stiffening penalties on bad actors.
The Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act will increase penalties for trafficking counterfeit drugs to reflect the severity of the crime and the harm to the public. While it is currently illegal to introduce counterfeit drugs into interstate commerce, the penalties are no different than those for the trafficking of other products, such as electronics or clothing. The Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act will target violators that knowingly manufacture, sell or traffic counterfeit medicines to the United States.
“As we have seen most recently with counterfeits of the cancer drug Avastin, counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs are putting Coloradans and Americans at risk, and I’m glad to see the Senate respond to this very real threat,” Bennet said. “Right now, the penalties for producing a fake company logo on a bottle of counterfeit drugs are more severe than they are for actually making and selling a counterfeit drug. We can help prevent these drugs from reaching hospitals, pharmacies and consumers by giving law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on these crimes and creating a universal system to track these drugs through the supply and distribution chains.”
[Read more at http://bennet.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=f199f4b0-46db-4cf9-aa99-41607bc6990c]
Avastin Scare Greases Bill To Boost Counterfeiting Penalties
March 7, 2012, 3:37 PM Wall Street Journal Blog
By Christopher Weaver
Penalties for selling fake medicines would double if a bill passed last night by the U.S. Senate becomes law. The counterfeiting bill, which has not passed the House of Representatives, would boost the maximum penalty for importing and marketing forged drugs in the U.S. from 10 years of imprisonment and a $2 million fine for individuals to $4 million and 20 years behind bars. Companies implicated in counterfeiting crimes could face steeper fines...