House Passes Bill Enhancing Penalties for Counterfeiters
Posted 19 June 2012 | By
The US House of Representatives passed a bill on Monday, 18 June that would update the US' criminal code to establish harsher penalties for those found guilty of counterfeiting pharmaceutical products.
The legislation, the Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act of 2011, is sponsored by Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and was introduced in the House in December 2011. An identically-titled companion bill first sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (I-VT) is still before the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security in the Senate, and could become the legislative vehicle by which the Senate passes its own version of the legislation.
"Although it's illegal to traffic in counterfeit goods, current law clearly is not an adequate deterrent," said Rep. Meehan in a statement. "Stronger penalties are needed to deter the sale of these dangerous counterfeit drugs."
Meehan's bill would, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), allow authorities to imprison convicted counterfeiters for up to 20 years, levy a fine, or both. Fines would be steep, with individuals subject to $5,000,000 in fines for a first offense and $15,000,000 for a second offense. Companies would be subject to a $15,000,000 fine for a first offense and $30,000,000 for a second offense. Repeat individual offenders would also be subject to a possible prison term of 30 years.
Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act of 2011
Meehan Bill to Crackdown on Counterfeit Rx Drug Trafficking Passes House