National Minority Quality Forum Statement regarding the Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act of 2011
December 6, 2011
The National Minority Quality Forum applauds the Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act of 2011, legislation that addresses one of the front-end, underlying factors that compromise quality health care and subvert efforts to incentivize the innovations necessary to increase the effectiveness of the American health care delivery system. This legislation is a step in the right direction – taking steps to remove fraudulent, and potentially harmful or ineffective drugs from the market without restricting access to legal, necessary and effective health care services.
According to a January 2010 Fact Sheet (No 275) issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), SFCCs (spurious/falsely-labeled/falsified/counterfeit) drugs can be defined as medicines that are deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled with respect to identity and/or source. Use of these counterfeit branded or generic medicines poses a public health risk because their content can be harmful, or they can lack the necessary active ingredients. As WHO notes, unlike substandard medicines where there are problems with the manufacturing process by a known manufacturer, counterfeit medicines are made by those with the intent to mislead – and, we might add, depending upon the nature of the counterfeit, the willingness to do harm to those whose health and lives depend upon the product. Read more