The recent election seems destined to play a role in the counterfeit drug bill pending in New York. While last week I wrote about Tim Fagan’s Law pending in Washington, that is not the only proposed legislation designed to bring greater safety to our drug distribution system. In Albany, Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) introduced her own bill to track drugs and increase pharmaceutical safety. From the press release:
This legislation requires drug manufacturers to establish a pedigree for each prescription drug, requires every wholesaler to submit a bond of $100,000, punishes manufacturers and wholesalers who intentionally package, sell, transfer, distribute or deliver a counterfeit drug with a class D Felony, establishes a fine of up to two thousand dollars per violation for offending drug manufacturers, and authorizes criminal background checks for manufacturers and wholesalers.
But two things happened in the election. First on the negative side, Paulin’s Republican co-sponsor lost his Senate seat. Nick Spano (R-Yonkers) had hung on to re-election by a mere 18 votes in 2004, but this time lost. Paulin was bold to reach across the aisle to ask Spano to co-sponsor this bill — both pictured with me here after the press conference annoucing the legislation — especially given the vulnerability of his seat. But sound public policy comes first for this bill she cares passionately about. She now needs a new sponsor on the Senate side.
And second, on the far more positive side, Eliot Spitzer blew away his opponent to win the governorship. Since Spitzer as Attorney General started an investigation into drug distribution practices in New York, it is presumably a matter he knows and cares much about. One of the subpoenas he dropped in this investigation was on my firm, for the records that I have for representing Tim Fagan and investigating the problem of counterfeit drugs.
This bill is one of many in state legislatures across the country that have popped up give the extraordinary risks from counterfeit drugs that exists due to our leaky drug supply chain. Hopefully the holes can be plugged before more people are injured.