House to vote on bill boosting penalties for counterfeit pharmaceuticals

Companies could face fines as high as $15 million for a first offense, and $30 million for repeat offenses.

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Reps. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.) and Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), the sponsors of the bill, argue that the legislation is needed because efforts to sell fake drugs in the United States are currently met with the same penalty faced by counterfeiters of other products. Meehan's office said those smaller penalties do not "reflect the severity of the crime and the harm to the public."

Their bill is one of nine suspension bills that could receive a vote as early as Monday. House Republicans leaders brought up the bill under a suspension of House rules, meaning it will receive less debate and will need a two-thirds majority vote for passage.