Increased Vigilance Secures Medical Supply Chain

Pharmaceutical cargo theft rates have stayed flat since 2008, after a 283 percent increase between 2006 and 2008.

Ed Silverman of Pharmalot reports that “attempts to curtail hijacked trucks and warehouse burglaries may be making a different in the rate of pharmaceutical thefts” due to increased vigilance by drug makers.

Most pharmaceutical cargo thefts are occurring in Tennessee, which has a large number of medicine distribution centers around Memphis. Florida, California and Pennsylvania rank second, third, and fourth, respectively.

In March, Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced legislation to curb prescription drug theft through strengthened penalties and additional tools for law enforcement, among others.

Stolen drug cargo can be poorly maintained, degrading the quality of the medication before sale back into the legitimate supply chain. It can also be unpackaged, sold, and then the packaging used to distribute counterfeits.

By S. Imber