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Bill toughening penalties for production of counterfeit drugs introduced in State Duma

November 10, 2014, 8:35 UTC+3
The author of the initiative Senator Belyakov stressed that Russia and China share the first place in the production and trafficking of counterfeit medicines
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© Ilya Pitalev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 10. /TASS /. A bill toughening criminal liability for the production, manufacture, storage, transportation and sale of counterfeit drugs and medical devices is introduced to the State Duma.

The author of the initiative is Senator Anton Belyakov.

The explanatory note available to Tass says that according to independent experts, Russia, along with China has moved into first place in the production and trafficking of counterfeit drugs, ahead of India, Brazil and Turkey, traditionally considered the major producers and consumers of fake medicines .

"According to the World Health Organization, the share of counterfeit drugs in Russia accounts to 12% of the total number of drugs. According to experts, the market for counterfeits in Russia is about 20 billion rubles," the document says.

According to the law drafter Russian legislation is not stringent enough towards counterfeit drugs producers and sellers. For example, counterfeit drug producers in Russia are accountable according to the article 238 of the Criminal Code that subjects to prosecution production, storage, transportation and dispose of goods inadequate to the security requirements. “This means that a counterfeit medicine destined to maintain health but in fact being immediately dangerous to life is equated to any other product produced with violation of technological process, for instance”, the senator explained. “Counterfeit producers can get away with a fine of 100 thousand rubles”, he added.

At the same time the accompanying documents to the bill show that in the USA trafficking of counterfeit drugs is punishable by a fine up to $200 million or life imprisonment, in Turkey by imprisonment from 30 to 50 years, in India by imprisonment for life, in Europe, the penalty for selling counterfeit drugs exceeds 300 thousand euros and a term of up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

To solve this problem, the bill proposes to amend the article 238.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, toughening criminal liability for the production, manufacture, storage, transportation and sale of counterfeit drugs and medical devices. Thus, according to the amendments, the production, manufacture, storage, transportation and sale of counterfeit drugs, causing death of two and more persons, shall be punished by deprivation of freedom for a period from 7 to 10 years with a fine in the amount from five hundred thousand to one million rubles.

Additionally, the draft law also establishes the responsibility for the creation of false documents or falsifying documents for drugs and medical devices.

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