U.S. Sen. Michael Bennett released the following statement today:
"The U.S. Senate today passed with broad bipartisan support a bill cosponsored by Colorado Sen.
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
The bill comes on the heels of reports that a counterfeit version of Avastin cancer drug has been found in the United States and responds to recommendations made by the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator and the Administration's Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Inter-Agency Working Group. The bill has the backing of the AARP, the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP), and the National Association of Chain Drugs Stores (NACDS) among others.
... Bennet has also pushed for a
through the supply and distribution chains to help avoid critical drug shortages and increase
safety. This would allow the
(FDA) to efficiently monitor individual drugs, thereby ensuring that all drugs are manufactured, stored and distributed safely and that they enter distribution channels legally. In response, the
for such a universal system.
Last year, Bennet penned an op-ed for Politico titled, "How Safe Is Your Medicine Cabinet?", which laid out the case for comprehensive FDA reform that protects patients from potentially dangerous and adulterated drugs. He also delivered the keynote address at the Pew Charitable Trusts' conference in March titled, "After
Last Congress, Bennet introduced the Drug Safety and Accountability Act of 2010, which would enhance the ability of the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry to ensure U.S. drugs are both safe and effective regardless of where they are made. For more information on this bill, please click here. He is currently working on an expanded bipartisan version of that bill to be introduced this year. "