Committee Okays Bill Blocking Black Market Sale of Counterfeit Drugs

Denver—Today, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee unanimously approved Senator Bob Gardner's, R-El Paso County, bill assessing a penalty for the sale, possession, adulteration, or interaction with counterfeit or misrepresentation of prescription drugs. 

House Bill 17-1224 authorizes assessment of a penalty ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for the misrepresentation of black market drugs. 

While current federal law prohibits any sales and distribution of counterfeit drugs, there remain gaps in Colorado statute.

 In 2017 alone, 13 criminal indictments have been filed by the FDA regarding misbranded, mislabeled or counterfeit drugs.

Black market, misbranded drugs often do not contain the same active ingredients as their FDA-approved counterparts, or may even contain toxic substitutes that can seriously harm patients who need them the most. 

"There are horror stories about cancer patients receiving medications that lack the active ingredient," said Gardner. "This is absolutely preventable. Health care professionals place themselves and the public at risk when they seek out unethical and unlicensed cost-cutting measures. We should ensure that we always look to provide the highest quality of care for Colorado patients."

House Bill 1224 now continues on to the Committee of the Whole.

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