Today, President Obama signed into law the Safe Doses Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) to fight medical theft and protect patients from unknowingly using stolen and mishandled drugs.
“Before, federal law did nothing to distinguish between stealing a load of insulin or a truck full of tires," Sensenbrenner said. "Now, with the Safe Doses Act, we have given our law enforcement the tools they need to find and prosecute those who endanger countless lives through drug theft.”
“Drug theft is a serious threat to the public and its prevalence is only spreading. Patients rely on life-saving drugs and medical devices. That trust is broken when stolen and mishandled medical products are resold back into the market. This law is a positive, bipartisan step to fighting medical theft by addressing every step in the supply chain. I am happy the President signed this bill into law to protect patients from stolen and mishandled medical products.”
H.R. 4223, the Safe Doses Act:
- Increases sentences for those who steal medical products.
- Enhances penalties for the “fences” who knowingly obtain stolen medical products for resale into the supply chain.
- Increases sentences when harm occurs- where injury or death results from using a stolen substance or where the defendant is employed by an organization in the supply chain.
- Makes theft of medical products a predicate for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law, to equip law enforcement with needed tools.
- Increases possible sentences for robbing pharmacies of controlled substances.
- Provides restitution to victims injured by stolen medical products.
This legislation was introduced in the Senate by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and the Senate voted to pass it on September 22, 2012. The House passed the legislation on June 26, 2012.