In Russia two gang members were arrested for selling expired cancer medications to pharmacies and hospitals, repackaged as if authentic. Meanwhile a Miami pharmacy technician stole fragile, refrigerated cancer medications in order to re-sell them.

In July 2012, Russian police arrested two counterfeit drug gang members for allegedly selling $15.4 million of counterfeit cancer medications.

In Russia two gang members were arrested for selling expired cancer medications to pharmacies and hospitals, repackaged as if authentic. Meanwhile a Miami pharmacy technician stole fragile, refrigerated cancer medications in order to re-sell them.

In July 2012, Russian police arrested two counterfeit drug gang members for allegedly selling $15.4 million of counterfeit cancer medications.

The gang operated in southwestern Russia for two years by importing expired medications from Ukraine to Shakhty. They then sold the repackaged expired drugs to pharmacies and hospitals in Moscow and other Russian cities. They also allegedly produced counterfeit medication, using the old packaging, and charging between $150 and $600 for each ampoule, reports RIA Novosti.

The rabbit-hole of gray market drug sales, and the role of medicine theft in drug counterfeiting crime are just two of the issues we will be discussing at the 2012 Interchange September 28th in Washington DC. Register today!

In August 2012, The Miami Herald reported that at the University of Miami, only the watchful attention of a lone employee brought to a halt the long-running theft of cancer medication at their Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Manuel Gerardo Pacheco has been charged with four counts of grand theft, two counts of trafficking in contraband prescription drugs and one count of dealing in stolen property. Over the course of three years, he is accused of stealing over $14million worth of the cancer medications, reports The Miami Herald.

Pacheco was observed on hidden surveillance video cameras pocketing blue boxes containing Neulasta and Aloxi, in June of 2011. Both medications are used during chemotherapy, the former to reduce the risk of infection and the latter to combat nausea.

According to the University of Miami investigator, Pacheco “immediately confessed” to removing medications four doses at a time for more than a year.

Pacheco allegedly took the medications out of their temperature controlled setting, kept them in his pocket until returning them to a home refrigerator before selling them to a suspected gray marketer, reports The Miami Herald.

A search of Pacheco’s home revealed a small refrigerator in a bedroom that contained other cancer medications Avastin, Oxaliplatin, Rituxan and Velcade, used to treat colon cancer, lymphoma and bone-marrow cancer , respectively. It also contained Aranesp, for chronic kidney failure and as well as the Neulasta and Aloxi. The value of the medications in the refrigerator was estimated at $730,000, reports the Miami Herald.

A sting operation to meet the purchaser of the stolen medications was unsuccessful.

By S. Imber