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Bipartisan Bill to Destroy Fake Imported Medical Devices Needs to Be Part of Coronavirus Response


WASHINGTON, DC – At Los Angeles International Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, U.S. Customs and Border Protection confiscated fake COVID-19 testing kits. Even during this pandemic, fake medical equipment and tests are still being sent in our country. You may be surprised to find out that when these counterfeit medical devices, including tests, are imported in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must either store it or ship it back. However, the Safeguarding Therapeutics Act, would give the FDA much-needed authority to destroy these medical devices that could threaten public health.

Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Eliot Engel (D-NY)’s bipartisan bill extends the authority the FDA already has with drugs. When bad actors try to import fake or adulterated drugs into the U.S., the FDA can destroy those drugs, so it never reaches American homes. This bipartisan bill needs to be included as part of our response to COVID-19, so fake medical devices can be eradicated too.

FDA warns consumers of fraudulent at-home coronavirus tests
By David Lim

The agency is also stepping up enforcement at International Mail Facilities to keep fraudulent coronavirus products out of the country, according to Hahn.

Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation in January that would allow the government to destroy counterfeit devices that are found at IMFs. Guthrie argues now is the time to pass the bill into law.

“These kinds of crises absolutely bring out the best in people, but it can also bring out the worst in some people with fraud and trying to take advantage of people,” Guthrie told POLITICO.

Energy & Commerce ranking member Greg Walden (R-Ore.) is advocating for Guthrie’s bill to be included in Congress’ third coronavirus package.

“As we’re seeing fake COVID-19 testing kits coming into our country, it’s important for the FDA to have the authority to destroy these fake tests and any other counterfeit medical device,” Walden told POLITICO in a statement.

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