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US Authorities Attempt To Hold Drug Executes Criminally Responsible For Violations

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Criminal sanctions against corporate officers were authorized by Congress in 1938 under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. However, authorities in the US seem to be ramping up use of the act to hold pharmaceutical executives criminally, and personally, responsible for corporate violations of food and drug laws.

Because of the potential for health and food products to cause injury and death, the Supreme Court has interpreted the law to allow prosecution without evidence that the executive knew about the crime.

Opinion about the law varies greatly among prosecutors and defense attorneys, including one who said the “doctrine is the prosecutors’ “ticket around the need to prove criminal intent,” putting a pistol “to the head of the very senior executives, ” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Defense attorneys in the health sector are troubled by the doctrine and the efforts to put responsibility squarely on the shoulders of executives because the Department of Health and Human Services can seek to exclude convicted executives from any participation in Medicare and Medicaid, “which can be a career-ended punishment.”

Currently, misdemeanor offenses for company executives can carry sentences of up to a year in prison, and fines of up to $100,000 per count.

“There’s more focus now on trying to identify whether it’s a case where it’s appropriate to charge corporate officials with wrongdoing,” said John J. Pease, chief of the health-care fraud unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, the Wall Street Journal also reported.

 

US Authorities Attempt To Hold Drug Executes Criminally Responsible For Violations

breakinglawsuitnews.com disclaimer: This article: US Authorities Attempt To Hold Drug Executes Criminally Responsible For Violations was posted on Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 at 8:05 pm at breakinglawsuitnews.com and is filed under Defective Drug Lawsuits.

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