With reintroduction of the federal Stop Pills that Kill Act this week, U.S. Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH), Lou Correa (D-CA), Ken Buck (R-CO) and Greg Stanton (D-AZ) seek to institute new penalties for counterfeit pill production.
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), a single kilogram of fentanyl can kill as many as 500,000 people. In recent years, fentanyl has emerged as a cheap product commonly lacing counterfeit pills, alongside methamphetamines and other substances that have led to a surge in overdose deaths.
“Illicit pills laced with fentanyl have contributed to the deadly opioid epidemic that has impacted too many Ohio families,” Joyce said. “I’m proud to lead the effort to help authorities crack down on the rising production of counterfeit pills and prevent tragic overdose deaths.”
The bill would require the DEA to create a comprehensive plan within 180 days for combating the flood of counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl or methamphetamine nationwide. On top of this, it would create penalties for possessing paraphernalia used to manufacture counterfeit pills so laced, or with fentanyl analogues.
“Drug traffickers are pumping fentanyl into America in the form of counterfeit prescription pills—and it’s worsening the opioid epidemic, particularly among teens and young adults,” Stanton said. “Our bipartisan legislation gives law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on these criminals and save lives.”
Outside the halls of Congress, the Stop Pills that Kill Act was endorsed by National Narcotic Officers’ Associations Coalition, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Song for Charlie, Victims of Illicit Drugs, Major Cities Chiefs Association, National District Attorneys’ Association and the National Rural Health Association.