Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-39) today released the following statement urging Congress to pass the Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act after the maker of the popular cancer drug Avastin announced it had discovered counterfeit versions of the medicine circulating in the U.S.
"The Avastin case once again highlights the urgency for legislation that more effectively deters trafficking in counterfeit drugs," said Congresswoman Sánchez. "The American people deserve protection from the massive counterfeit drug enterprises that jeopardize the public's safety and rob American businesses of millions of dollars in revenue. American consumers deserve to have peace of mind when they take medication, and I urge my colleagues to take up the Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act."
Reports show that counterfeit drugs result in 100,000 fatalities worldwide each year, and account for an estimated $75 billion in annual revenue for criminal enterprises. Introduced by Congresswoman Sánchez last November, the Drug Penalty Enhancement Act is bipartisan and bicameral legislation that seeks to increase penalties for the trafficking of counterfeit drugs to reflect the severity of the crime and the harm to the public.