The Wiseguys Are Stealing Fewer Pharmaceuticals

The Wiseguys Are Stealing Fewer Pharmaceuticals

January 20th, 2012 // 3:28 pm @

Are those Sopranos wanna-bees meeting stiffer resistance from the pharmaceutical industry security experts? A new report shows that the number of thefts of pharmaceutical shipments declined significantly last year – there were fewer incidents and a much lower average value per theft, according to the latest report from Freightwatch International, which tracks global cargo thefts.

All totaled, there were 36 thefts involving shipments last year, which was down from 49 in 2010. And the average value of lost shipments was $585,000, down considerably from $3.78 million. Trailer thefts accounted for 28 of the heists. This marked the first year on record that the pharmaceutical industry did not have the highest value per theft incident. That distinction went to the electronics industry.

Significantly, there were just two thefts valued at more than $1 million last year and overall, the value of the heists was the lowest since FreightWatch began tracking thefts in 2006. In previous years, the average loss per pharmaceutical theft averaged between $3.5 million and $4 million Of the 35 thefts, by the way, most took place in Indiana and Florida (here is the complete report).

FreightWatch did not specify reasons for the decline, but in a report issued last April, the firm did note that the rate of pharmaceutical thefts had leveled 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.

Supply chain issues are, of course, a hot topic. And thefts, in particular, generated increased attention two years ago, when 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.

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