Updated: Thursday, 18 Mar 2010, 12:54 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 18 Mar 2010, 9:06 AM EDT
(WTNH) - It's apparently worth big bucks if you have the guts to do it -- stealing prescription drugs and selling them on the black market.
The high price of prescription drugs is on the minds of politicians, the sick, the elderly, and it's on the minds of criminals. Industry experts say pharmaceutical thefts have quadrupled in the last 4 years.
The latest heist happened in Enfield in a warehouse storing Eli Lily products like Prozac and Cymbalta. Police say early Sunday, the crooks cut a hole in the roof, slid down ropes and made off with enough drugs to fill a tractor trailer. The estimated value of the haul is $75 million. It was a brazen heist, but not that unusual anymore.
Newsweek says this is the tenth pharmaceutical theft this year. In the last two years there were 46 in the U.S. Now mostly those were shipments stolen in transit, breaking into a warehouse is less common, but it has happened before.
Experts say the crooks often change the labels and sell the stolen drugs through wholesalers and online distributors. You would never know if you were getting stolen drugs...unless something went wrong.
For instance, a year ago, some diabetics ended up with dangerously high blood sugar levels because they got some insulin that had been stolen. While they had it, the thieves didn't refrigerate it properly, so it didn't work anymore.