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Strengthening and Focusing Enforcement to Deter Organized Stealing and Enhance Safety Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. LINDA T. SÁNCHEZ of California. Madam Speakers, I rise in support of H.R. 4223, the Safe Doses Act. I am proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in supporting this important legislation.

H.R. 4223 addresses a difficult issue in the pharmaceutical supply chain: the theft of medical products. While this body last week passed important legislation to protect consumers from counterfeit drugs, there remains a real risk from stolen medical goods.

This is a not a hypothetical exercise, it is a real problem. Criminal organizations who steal medical products are not concerned with storing these materials properly, or ensuring that they are only sold with a doctor's prescription.
Let me give one brief, but telling example: In 2009, 128,000 vials of insulin were stolen in North Carolina. Beyond the $11 million monetary cost of this theft, there was a human cost as well.

These vials were reintroduced into the supply chain after being improperly stored. The vials found their way to pharmacies in 17 different states, and at least two individuals suffered potentially fatal blood sugar levels before the FDA was able to alert the public to this danger.

H.R. 4223 is a simple and sensible way to give law enforcement and prosecutors a stronger set of tools to go after criminal organizations that are brazenly stealing vital medication and devices. I further note that, beyond the bipartisan support this measure has received, the Safe Doses Act passed both the House Judiciary and Senate Judiciary Committees unanimously.

I encourage all of my colleagues to support this legislation, clean up the pharmaceutical supply chain, and protect their constituents.

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