Bennet: Chinese Counterfeit Drug Sting Amplifies Need to Update Drug Safety Laws

Chinese Police Arrest 114 People in Counterfeit Drug Ring, Seize $30 Million in Fake Medications

Washington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement on news reports that officials in China’s central Henan province arrested 114 people and seized nearly $30 million in fake medications. According to the Associated Press, authorities in the Henan city of Kaifeng said 117 fake drug production and sales sites were raided in the latest crackdown.

“This sting is yet another sign that we need to get serious about securing our drug supply chain and protecting American patients,” said Bennet. “About 40 percent of our drugs are made outsides the United States, and China is a significant – if not the most significant – supplier. It’s time to update our approach to drug safety, so we know who and where our drugs are coming from and can keep Americans safe. We can no longer afford to rely on laws created in 1938 to secure our increasingly global drug supply and prevent counterfeit drugs from entering the legitimate supply chain.”

Earlier this year, Bennet penned an op-ed for Politico titled, “How Safe Is Your Medicine Cabinet?”, which laid out the case for comprehensive Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reform that protects patients from potentially dangerous and adulterated drugs. He also delivered the keynote address at the Pew Charitable Trusts’ conference in March titled, “After Heparin: A Roundtable on Ensuring the Safety of the U.S. Drug Supply,” in which he highlighted the need for increased industry and regulatory controls to protect patients and ensure the safety of drugs in the United States. 

Last year, Bennet introduced the Drug Safety and Accountability Act of 2010, which would enhance the ability of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the pharmaceutical industry to ensure U.S. drugs are both safe and effective regardless of where they are made. For more information on this bill, please click here. He is currently working on an expanded bipartisan version of that bill to be introduced later this year.