U.S. Waking Up to Danger of Counterfeits
In a rare show of bi-partisanship last week, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle passed measures that greatly enhance the penalties for interstate commerce involving fake drugs. With mounting evidence that counterfeit pharmaceuticals are both dangerous and easier to come by without going through the proper channels (i.e. a valid prescription) it's no wonder that lawmakers can agree on these measures.
But that begs the question - in a society that is inarguably forced to make tough sacrifices on health care due to financial limitations, is it not also important to consider the role that counterfeit brand goods - not just pharmaceuticals - plays in U.S. unemployment? The FBI estimates that 250,000 domestic jobs are lost each year due to counterfeiting. So, that's 250,000 fewer tax-paying workers who still need to consume health care services.
While stiffening penalties for fake Viagra (woe! unintentional, I promise) certainly increases the safety of the marketplace, I find it interesting that government-sponsored brand enforcement seems to migrate towards those markets represented by the strongest lobbies.