Florida lawmakers aim to prevent sales of fake drugs

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com April 22 2003 11:00 PM ET

Florida lawmakers and pharmaceutical wholesale company lobbyists reached a compromise last week on two bills designed to prevent the sale of counterfeit, expired, and diluted drugs, including anti-HIV medications, in the state, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports. The bills were filed in response to a grand jury report that said the state's drug supply was being affected by sales of bad drugs from pharmaceutical wholesalers.

The bills require wholesale firms to document the history of all shipments of 30 of the most tampered drugs and to conduct criminal background checks of all employees. Among the drugs included on that list is the anti-wasting medication Procrit, used to boost weight gain in people suffering from AIDS-related wasting. The legislation also would make the sale of counterfeit or relabeled drugs a felony. Wholesalers would be required to begin tracking shipments of all medications sold in Florida by July 2006. The bills have wide support in the Florida legislature and are expected to easily pass before lawmakers adjourn on May 2.