Pharmaceutical Cargo Theft on the Decline

Pharmaceutical Cargo Theft on the Decline

February 7th, 2013 // 4:12 pm @

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Those Soprana wanna-bees are having a harder time pulling the proverbial fast one on the pharmaceutical industry. The latest data shows that the average loss of 30 reported cargo thefts of pharmaceuticals last year was $168,219, a huge drop from $550,566 in 2011 and an even more dramatic plunge from $3.78 million that was recorded in 2010, according to FreightWatch International, which tracks global cargo thefts.

Moreover, the latest tally amounts to the lowest number of incidents as well as the lowest average value per theft since FreightWatch began tracking pharmaceutical thefts in 2006. Most of the thefts last year occurred in Texas – 23 percent, to be exact – and there were multiple thefts in Georgia, Florida, Michigan and New Jersey. Overall, pharmaceuticals accounted for 3 percent of all cargo thefts tracked last year (read here).

FreightWatch did not specify reasons for the decline, but in previous reports, the firm noted that the rate of pharmaceutical thefts has been leveling off in recent years and attributed the change to efforts by drugmakers to tighten the supply chain (back story), such as the Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition (see this).

As noted previously, supply chain issues are a hot topic and thefts, in particular, have generated increased attention ever since thieves carved a hole in the roof of a non-descript Eli Lilly distribution center in Connecticut, and stole about 70 pallets of medicines worth up to $75 million. The incident drew national headlines and prompted the industry to accelerate security efforts. The Lilly (LLY) thieves were arrested last May (read this and this).


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