Relates to consumer protection from prescription drug reimportation and unlawful practices and enforcement and penalties.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to consumer protection from prescription drug reimportation
PURPOSE: This bill makes prescription drug reimportation an unlawful practice in New York State, authorizes the Attorney General to make an application to the court for an injunction against the continuance of violations of this article, and allows the court to impose civil penalties for such violations.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one adds a new article to the general business law titled "Consumer Protection from Prescription Drug Reimportation."
This section makes it an unlawful practice to purchase for resale, sell, offer for sale, or deliver in any manner any prescription drug approved by the United States Federal Drug Administration that is either: (1) manufactured in the United States, exported to another country, and then subsequently reimported in violation of state or federal law, or (2) manufactured for sale in another country and imported into the United States in violation of state or federal law.
Further, this section provides enforcement and penalties for this new article. It authorizes the New York State Attorney General to make an application to the court for an injunction to enjoin and restrain the continuance of violations of this article and authorizes the court to issue such injunction if the court or justice finds that the defendant has in fact violated this article. It also authorizes the New York State Attorney General, in connection with any proposed application for injunction, to take proof, make a determination of the relevant facts, and issue subpoenas in accordance with the Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR). Further, the court may impose a civil penalty of $1,000 to $10,000 when a violation of this article has occurred.
Lastly, this section provides that the New York State Attorney General give notice to the person against whom such proceeding is contemplated and an opportunity to show why proceedings should not be instituted against him or her. The Attorney General is exempted from giving notice and opportunity where it is not in the public interest.
Section two states that this act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.
JUSTIFICATION: In recent years, there has been an increase in individuals and businesses buying prescription drugs from foreign countries and importing them for sale in New York State. This practice is extremely dangerous to New York consumers. Prescription drugs that are illegally imported into New York State could be contaminated, ineffective, and improperly stored and transported, thus making them unsafe. These drugs pose additional risks to consumers if they do not comply with federal labeling requirements and warnings which provide important product information to the consumer.
While the illegal importation of prescription drugs may be prosecuted at the federal level, there are few protections for consumers at the
state level. This bill creates a new article under the general business law that makes prescription drug reimportation an unlawful practice and provides the New York State Attorney General and the court with certain powers for those in violation of this article.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state
EFFECTIVE DATE: The ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7389--A IN SENATE May 14, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sens. GALLIVAN, KENNEDY, MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to consumer protection from prescription drug reimportation THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new article 38-B to read as follows: ARTICLE 38-B CONSUMER PROTECTION FROM PRESCRIPTION DRUG REIMPORTATION SECTION 830. UNLAWFUL PRACTICES. 831. ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES. S 830. UNLAWFUL PRACTICES. IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON, FIRM, CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION OR AGENT OR EMPLOYEE THEREOF TO PURCHASE FOR RESALE, SELL, OFFER FOR SALE, OR DELIVER IN ANY MANNER, ANY PRESCRIPTION DRUG APPROVED BY THE UNITED STATES FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION THAT IS EITHER: 1. MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES, EXPORTED FROM THE UNITED STATES TO ANY OTHER COUNTRY, AND IMPORTED INTO THE UNITED STATES FROM ANY PLACE OUTSIDE THEREOF IN VIOLATION OF STATE OR FEDERAL LAW; OR 2. MANUFACTURED FOR SALE IN A COUNTRY OTHER THAN THE UNITED STATES AND IMPORTED INTO THE UNITED STATES FROM ANY PLACE OUTSIDE THEREOF IN VIOLATION OF STATE OR FEDERAL LAW. S 831. ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES. 1. WHENEVER THERE SHALL BE A VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE, AN APPLICATION MAY BE MADE BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO A COURT OR JUSTICE HAVING JURISDICTION BY A SPECIAL PROCEEDING TO ISSUE AN INJUNC- TION TO ENJOIN AND RESTRAIN THE CONTINUANCE OF SUCH VIOLATIONS; AND IF IT SHALL APPEAR TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE COURT OR JUSTICE THAT THE DEFENDANT HAS, IN FACT, VIOLATED THIS ARTICLE, AN INJUNCTION MAY BE ISSUED BY SUCH COURT OR JUSTICE ENJOINING AND RESTRAINING ANY FURTHEREXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14900-03-4 S. 7389--A 2
VIOLATION, WITHOUT REQUIRING PROOF THAT ANY PERSON HAS, IN FACT, BEEN INJURED OR DAMAGED THEREBY. IN ANY SUCH PROCEEDING, THE COURT MAY MAKE ALLOWANCES TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH SIX OF SUBDIVISION (A) OF SECTION EIGHTY-THREE HUNDRED THREE OF THE CIVIL PRAC- TICE LAW AND RULES, AND DIRECT RESTITUTION. WHENEVER THE COURT SHALL DETERMINE THAT A VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE HAS OCCURRED THE COURT MAY IMPOSE A CIVIL PENALTY OF NOT LESS THAN ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS NOR MORE THAN TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR EACH VIOLATION. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, EACH GROUP OF IDENTICAL ITEMS SHALL CONSTITUTE A SINGLE VIOLATION. IN CONNECTION WITH ANY SUCH PROPOSED APPLICATION, THE ATTOR- NEY GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO TAKE PROOF AND MAKE A DETERMINATION OF THE RELEVANT FACTS AND TO ISSUE SUBPOENAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CIVIL PRAC- TICE LAW AND RULES. 2. BEFORE ANY VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE IS SOUGHT TO BE ENJOINED, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHALL BE REQUIRED TO GIVE THE PERSON AGAINST WHOM SUCH PROCEEDING IS CONTEMPLATED NOTICE BY CERTIFIED MAIL AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW IN WRITING WITHIN FIVE BUSINESS DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF NOTICE WHY PROCEEDINGS SHOULD NOT BE INSTITUTED AGAINST HIM OR HER, UNLESS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHALL FIND, IN ANY CASE IN WHICH HE OR SHE SEEKS PRELIMINARY RELIEF, THAT TO GIVE SUCH NOTICE AND OPPORTUNITY IS NOT IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST. 3. IN ANY SUCH ACTION IT SHALL BE A COMPLETE DEFENSE THAT THE ACT OR PRACTICE IS SUBJECT TO AND COMPLIES WITH THE RULES AND REGULATIONS OF, AND THE STATUES ADMINISTERED BY, THE FEDERAL FOOD AND DRUG ADMINIS- TRATION OR ANY OFFICIAL DEPARTMENT, DIVISION, COMMISSION OR AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES AS SUCH RULES, REGULATIONS OR STATUES ARE INTERPRETED BY THE FEDERAL FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION OR SUCH DEPARTMENT, DIVI- SION, COMMISSION OR AGENCY OR THE FEDERAL COURTS. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.