On January 19, 2012, AstraZeneca sent members of Congress a letter supporting legislation to increase penalties for counterfeit prescription drug crime.
The letters were sent to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA), and Representative Patrick Meehan (R-PA), bill sponsors along with Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT.).[...]
The most potent anti-malarial drug has been found in counterfeit version in 11 African countries. On top of not curing patients sick with deadly malaria, lower than therapeutic doses of the active ingredient artemisinin in the fake meds can cause the parasites to develop resistance to the medication. In essence, the counterfeit drugs are likely to cause a mutation in the parasite, creating a newer, deadlier version of malaria not able to be cured by any known medication.[...]
The Partnership for Safe Medicines released a video about the recent conviction of counterfeit drug seller Manuel Calvelo on youtube. The video, available here, is narrated by counterfeit medicine victim Rick Roberts, a patient advocate who has spoken about his experience receiving vital life-saving medicines that turned out to be fakes in front of Congress and at the Interchange.
Roberts explains the case of Manuel Calvelo, a Belgian citizen who ran numerous online fake pharmacies that sold so-called generic versions of non-generic drugs that claimed to treat serious health concerns, such as a heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Instead the medicines were tested and found to be fakes by FDA agents.[...]
In March 2002, oncology nurses in Missouri at discovered that their patient, Maxine Blount, had been taking Procrit that was only one-twentieth the strength it should have been. The counterfeit did not treat her anemia, leading to delays between chemotherapy infusions that allowed her cancer to advance much more rapidly. She died in October 2002.
In 2005, her brother testified before Congress: if her drugs had been genuine “she would have lived longer…experienced much less pain and suffering, and have been able to spend more time with her family.”[...]