Stopping Online Infringement & Counterfeits

Living in Washington, one becomes accustomed to partisan politics. It seems as though both sides are always arguing and can't ever really agree. That's why it's refreshing to see a discussion like this:

It is a video of members from both houses of Congress and from both Political Parties standing together and holding a press conference all in support of the same issue: stopping online infringement and counterfeits in America. They came together to highlight their plan to reintroduce the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA).

COICA is designed to protect US intellectual property, innovation and jobs by combating rogue internet websites that propagate stolen and counterfeit goods and stop them from entering our markets.

I'm glad to see that Senator Leahy and Congressmen Smith, Conyers, Goodlatte, and Berman all came together to highlight the need to crack down on counterfeiters and rogue internet sites.  As I mentioned in a post about Patient Safety and Counterfeit Medicines, many of these rogue internet sites pose as pharmacies and often sell counterfeit or sub-standard drugs. In fact, in a statement on the floor, Senator Leahy said, "Often these counterfeit pharmaceuticals are manufactured overseas and sold to American consumers through rogue websites on the Internet. This must be stopped."

I believe protecting American Intellectual Property is important and, when it comes to medicines and patient safety, it is paramount.  I hope both houses will pass legislation quickly that will effectively combat these rogue internet websites and, most importantly, I hope their bill will focus more directly on the dangerous rogue websites selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Just as Senator Leahy cited in his statement, when face internet pharmacies endanger public health, they must be stopped.