The Partnership for Safe Medicines today commended Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for introducing legislation to curb prescription drug theft

Rail_theft500

Cargo theft from a railroad yard earlier this year near Los Angeles.
Photo courtesy of Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Washington, D.C. (March 8, 2011)

The Partnership for Safe Medicines today commended Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for introducing legislation to curb prescription drug theft through strengthened penalties and additional tools for law enforcement, among others.

“This bill is yet another example of both the growing threat and increased awareness of the global counterfeit drug threat. Regardless of whether a medicine is authentic, the second it leaves the supply chain we can no longer validate its authenticity and ensure its safety for consumers,” said PSM Board Member and President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI) Thomas Kubic. “When we’re talking about patient and consumer safety, there is no difference between stolen medicines and fake medicines. I am pleased that Senators Schumer, Rockefeller, Klobuchar and Brown recognize this public health risk and have introduced this important legislation.”

The repercussions of distributing stolen pharmaceuticals go beyond simple theft. Counterfeiters seize upon stolen drugs and can manipulate them before reselling the medicines. Some fake drugs are weaker forms of the intended drug, providing less benefit to the patient taking them. Some contain no active ingredients at all, or contain ingredients that are hazardous or interact negatively with other medicines a consumer may be taking. All can result in serious if not life threatening situations for consumers.

“The legislation introduced today is an example of how policymakers can strengthen tools that already exist to curb the fake drug epidemic and more importantly protect consumers. On behalf of PSM, we thank Senators Schumer, Rockefeller, Klobuchar and Brown for their leadership on this issue and look forward to working with them as this bill moves through the Senate,” continued Kubic.