Media Contact

Larissa Doucette

New legislation signed into law by President Obama on October 5, 2012, increases penalties for medical product cargo theft, a significant problem that threatens patient safety when these stolen products are reintroduced into the legitimate supply chain. The Strengthening and Focusing Enforcement to Deter Organized Stealing and Enhance Safety Act of 2012 (SAFE DOSES Act) (PDF) prohibits theft of medical products as well as trafficking, buying, selling, or distributing illegally obtained pre-retail medical products. The law “prescribes criminal and civil penalties for violations, including a civil penalty of up to the greater of 3 times the economic loss attributable to the violation or $1 million.” According to the Coalition for Patient Safety and Medicine Integrity, “current federal criminal laws do not distinguish between stealing a load of insulin and stealing a truck full of paper clips.” By increasing the penalties for medical theft, the SAFE DOSES Act should help deter such theft.