Washington, D.C. (November 17, 2011) – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO John Castellani released the following statement regarding the bipartisan and bicameral Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act of 2011:
“Senators Leahy and Grassley as well as Representatives Meehan and Linda Sanchez should be applauded for taking steps to protect patients by advocating for stricter sentences for criminals in the counterfeit medicine business. In the U.S., the jail sentence for a counterfeiting crime is typically three years, but we believe that more significant criminal penalties, including as much as 20 years imprisonment, is more appropriate for such a potentially deadly crime.
“In most cases, criminals selling illicit drugs face tougher jail sentences than those selling dangerous counterfeit medicines, which provide no therapeutic benefit and cause great harm to patients suffering from disease. Make no mistake: criminals are not only targeting ‘lifestyle’ drugs, but also vital medicines that treat cancer, diabetes, malaria and high blood pressure.
“For the sake of patient health and safety, we applaud the sponsors for their commitment to this issue and hope this bill reaches the President’s desk for signature. In the meantime, biopharmaceutical research companies will continue to work with members of Congress and the Administration to help safeguard the U.S. drug supply system, including seeking stronger penalties for those who counterfeit the medicines our companies research and develop.”
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