Florida Legislators, Lobbyists Compromise on Regulations To Prevent Sale of Fake Drugs, Including AIDS Medications
Florida legislators and pharmaceutical wholesale company lobbyists last week reached a compromise on two bills (SB 2312 and HB 1481) designed to prevent the wholesale of counterfeit, expired and diluted drugs, including AIDS-related medications, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports. The bills were filed in response to a state grand jury report released in February that said the state's drug supply was tainted by pharmaceutical wholesalers' sales of bad drugs. Under the original versions of the bills, wholesale firms would be required to document the history of every drug shipment and conduct criminal background checks of employees. In addition, requirements for obtaining a permit to open a wholesale drug company would become more stringent and the sale of relabeled or tampered drugs would be considered a felony. The original bills would have required companies to immediately begin tracking all drugs being resold; however, the compromise version would require companies to document the history of only the 30 most tampered-with drugs, including Procrit, Epogen and Neupogen, which are used to treat some people with AIDS or cancer. Wholesalers would be required to begin tracking the other 35,000 medications sold in Florida by July 2006. Supporters of the compromise measure said that the law would enact the toughest regulations in the country on wholesalers and may prompt other states or Congress to follow suit, adding that they expect the compromise to pass before the Legislature adjourns on May 2 (LaMendola, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, 4/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.