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Capitol Health Call
January 11, 2012

Countering Counterfeit Drugs

JAMA. 2012;307(2):134. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1929

Bills to increase penalties for trafficking counterfeit drugs were introduced in Congress by a bipartisan group of senators and representatives.

Although it is illegal to introduce counterfeit drugs into interstate commerce, the penalties are no different from those for trafficking of other products, such as electronics or clothing. The Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act of 2011 (S 1886, HR 3468 []), introduced November 17, specifically targets violators who knowingly manufacture, sell, or traffic counterfeit medicines to the United States. The legislators said that globally, it is estimated that each year, counterfeit drugs result in 100 000 deaths and generate an estimated $75 billion for criminal enterprises.

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