Israel debates tougher penalties for fake medicines

Israel MoH logoIsrael's government is debating a bill that would introduce tougher penalties for trading in illicit medicines, including longer jail terms.

The bill - which is being heard by the Labour, Social Welfare and Health Committee - would increase the maximum prison sentence for dealing in counterfeit, stolen or expired drugs from six months to three years, and also leave perpetrators open to fines of up to NIS 400,000 (just over $100,000), reports the Jerusalem Post.

Counterfeit medicines are known to be a problem in Israel, with a string of incidents reported by the Ministry of Health in the last few years.

Just this summer, counterfeit versions of Novo Nordisk's growth hormone product Norditropin were found in the supply chain with "a high degree of resemblance between the counterfeit and the authentic product."

Enforcement agencies in Israel participated in this year Operation Pangea and intercepted around 40,000 counterfeit and unapproved medicines.

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