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Consumer Protection Group Supports IP Enforcement to Combat Counterfeit Drugs

Partnership for Safe Medicines urges Congress to address the vulnerabilities threatening the safety of prescription drugs.

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WASHINGTON (June 17, 2008) – The Partnership for Safe Medicines, a group of organizations and individuals dedicated to protect consumers from counterfeit medicines, issued the following statement regarding today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Protecting Consumers by Protecting Intellectual Property.”

The Partnership for Safe Medicines applauds the Committee for recognizing that enforcement of intellectual property (IP) laws are an important way to combat the sale of unsafe or substandard products, such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Time and time again, we have seen imitations of FDA- approved drugs contaminated with harmful or unsafe materials, as well as counterfeits containing nonstandard amounts of active ingredients that affect the integrity of the medication.

One of the Partnership’s core principles for drugs safety is that we must unify in the fight against counterfeit drugs. We believe the United States needs to be a leader in this global fight. We must advocate for better cooperation between government agencies here within the United States, as well as with our counterparts around the world, in order to prosecute the unscrupulous counterfeiters who do not hesitate to use foreign, even toxic, materials in their products.

Counterfeit drugs defraud consumers and deny ill patients therapies that can alleviate suffering and save lives. The harm and fatalities from counterfeit and contraband medicines must stop. The Partnership supports increasing criminal penalties against the perpetrators of counterfeit medicines to reflect the gravity of their offenses. Additionally, we endorse granting the FDA the authority to destroy unapproved drugs entering the United States rather than returning them to the criminals who sent them here.

If we truly want to avoid another deadly incident of failed drug safety, we urge Congress to take this opportunity to further address the vulnerabilities threatening the safety of our prescription drugs. To learn more about how we can protect our supply chain, regulate online pharmacies, fight counterfeit drugs and other principles of drug safety, please visit SafeMedicines.org—because counterfeit drugs are unsafe at any cost.

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About the Partnerships for Safe Medicines
The Partnership for Safe Medicines is a group of organizations and individuals that have policies, procedures, or programs to protect consumers from counterfeit or contraband medicines. To join us in our stand against counterfeit drugs or obtain your own copy of the Principles for Drug Safety doctrine, please visit www.SafeMedicines.org.

Send an email to Deborah J. Danuser of Partnership for Safe Medicines
202-742-5256



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