Lance Bill To Crack Down on Junk Drugs Passes House
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today secured passage of his legislation, the Drug Diversion and Counterfeit Crackdown Act, as part of 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 Lance’s effort will increase the penalties for counterfeiters.
“Too many Americans are falling victim to knock-off drugs. These counterfeit drugs contain harmful ingredients and incorrect or expired active ingredients. Cancer patients may think they are taking the correct chemotherapy medicine but these fraudsters instead give the unsuspecting patient 50% of the real treatment or substitute ingredients. These criminals take the risk knowing the punishment is only a minor offense in our criminal code. That needs to change. It’s time to raise the penalties and strengthen the system to 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.