Lance Bill Cracks Down on Junk Drugs
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) secured passage of his legislation, H.R. 2376, the Drug Diversion and Counterfeit Crackdown Act, through the Energy and Commerce Health Committee today as an amendment to the FDA Reauthorization Act. The legislation cracks down on counterfeit drugs entering the United States. Many American patients are buying and using bogus drugs disguised as reputable brands and today’s effort will increase the penalties for counterfeiters.
“Counterfeit drugs are flooding into the United States and too many Americans are falling victim to knock-offs that have infiltrated the U.S. supply chain. These counterfeit drugs contain harmful ingredients and incorrect or expired active ingredients. Cancer patients think they are taking the correct chemotherapy medicine but these fraudsters instead give the unsuspecting patient 50% of the real treatment. These criminals take the risk knowing the punishment is a minor offense in our criminal code. That needs to change. We need to strengthen the system and protect patients,” said Lance.
In the United States, for a new drug to reach the market it must proceed through a rigorous vetting process through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Once approved, these therapies are then marketed in U.S. Counterfeiters mimic these drugs with knock-off medications often created in third-world counties – well outside the scrutiny of the FDA and involving a host of poorly produced ingredients. The Centers for Disease Control estimates up to 30% of all drugs are counterfeit in developing countries. With little oversight, these drugs are then introduced into the U.S. placing the entire secure supply chain at risk. The Lance bill will close loopholes in the law, stiffen penalties for counterfeiters and discourages this market from growing.