Pharmaceutial Cargo Thefts on the Rise

Pharmaceutial Cargo Thefts on the Rise

May 20th, 2013 // 4:31 pm @

Latest FDA and cGMP Compliance News

We noted that there was a noticeable drop in the dollar value of pharmaceutical cargo thefts in 2012. Alas, it appears that this was only temporary. Our recent analysis shows that pharmaceutical thieves are having a great year in 2013. To this point, about $3.4 million in thefts have happened this year. This works out to be around $173,000 per job.

For the entire year of 2012, the amount of drugs stolen in cargo shipments was around $3 million, or $148,000 per job. This data comes from Freightwatch International, which tracks the theft of commodities.

It seems that a bit of a rebound is underway in pharmaceutical thefts. For 2011, about $12.7 million were ripped off, which is an average of $550,000 per theft. Even with all of the industry’s efforts to stop these thefts, thieves are finding new ways to have their way with the industry.

We started to take more notice of such thefts in 2010, when a stunning $75 million in drugs was taken from an Eli Lilly warehouse in Connecticut. There it appeared that the thieves had insider knowledge of the security systems. They chopped a hole in the roof to get inside the warehouse. This one robbery boosted the value of thefts in 2010 to $94 million, or $3.5 million per robbery.

These burglaries are not rare, but many security experts state that the increasing number may show that the thieves are changing up their tactics. For instance, a theft happened last week when a tractor trailer was taken from a trucker’s stop in Kentucky.

The driver went to the bathroom and when came back, the truck was gone. Tracking indicated that the truck and trailer left the site five minutes after the trucker stopped. This shows that the truck was probably followed from its origination point in New Jersey.

Keep in mind that some pharmaceutical thefts are never reported, so the total value of pharma thefts each year is higher than it appears.

Even with all of the threats that pharmaceutical companies have to deal with in terms of cGMP violations and FDA sanctions, they still have to worry about yet another problem – common thieves!


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