On Monday, the House approved legislation (HR 3668) that would increase penalties against individuals and companies involved in selling counterfeit prescription drugs, The Hill's "Floor Action Blog" reports (Kasperowicz, "Floor Action Blog," The Hill, 6/18).
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), was passed by voice vote under suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority for passage (Khatami, CQ Today, 6/18).
The bill would impose up to $5 million in fines and up to 20 years' imprisonment -- or both -- for an individual's first offense and up to $15 million in fines and 30 years in prison for repeat offenses ("Floor Action Blog," The Hill, 6/18). Companies could be fined up $15 million for the first offense and up to $30 million for subsequent offenses.
Under current law, the maximum penalty for individuals convicted of selling counterfeit drugs is up to 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine, according to CQ Today.
A similar bill (S 1886) passed the Senate by voice vote in March (CQ Today, 6/18).