Actavis shipment of opioids stolen from truck stop

Thieves scored opioid analgesics as well as epilepsy and anxiety drugs from generics maker Actavis in a recent truck theft. In all, some 30 pallets of drugs were taken from a truck stop in Washington County, PA, when the driver left the vehicle running while he bought cigarettes, reports Securing Pharma.

The fully loaded tractor-trailer was traveling from an Actavis site in Elizabeth, NJ, to a warehouse in Louisville, KY, according to the report, which cites an alert from the Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Consortium (PCSC). The shipment was about halfway through its 800-mile trek. 

Of the pallets, 14 held oxycodone HCl tablets, 6 carried anxiety drug alprazolam and 9 contained the epilepsy drug gabapentin. The load was being hauled by GSI Trucking, the report says. Both trailer and tractor were taken. Pennsylvania state police recovered only the tractor.

A GPS tracker alert was delayed because security officials at first were unaware of the theft, believing that the GSI driver was still operating the vehicle.

The theft comes as drugmakers appear to be gaining the upper hand against increasingly well-organized thieves. A Freightwatch report from August noted cargo thefts were cut by more than half through June this year in comparison with the first half of 2010. And the PCSC calculates a 33% drop in heists from 2008 to 2011.

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Special Report: Top 10 Pharma Cargo Thefts by Value, 2009/2010