Today, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the "Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act of 2011" (H.R. 3668), which Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-39) introduced with Congressman Pat Meehan (R-PA). H.R. 3668 will help law enforcement crack down on counterfeit medications and increase penalties for counterfeit drug trafficking.
"The American people deserve to know the medications they take are safe and effective, and this legislation will give them that peace of mind" said Congresswoman Sánchez. "I applaud Congress for unanimously passing this necessary and bipartisan legislation that my colleague, Congressman Pat Meehan, and I introduced. As a parent, I never want to worry about any medicine I give my son. I urge the Senate to pass this bill, which will hold counterfeit drug enterprises accountable for putting the public health at risk."
The "Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act of 2011" now goes to the United States Senate for a vote.
The Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act of 2011 will increase penalties for the trafficking of 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 criminals who knowingly manufacture, sell or traffic counterfeit medicines to the United States.
It has been reported that counterfeit drugs result in 100,000 fatalities globally each year, and account for an estimated $75 billion in annual revenue for criminal enterprises.