Brazen cargo thieves meet determined pharma

Cargo thieves are raising the stakes. They're better organized than their counterparts of just a few years ago. Some are becoming more aggressive, while others are growing more clever.

This past year saw the use of guns and kidnapping in pharma cargo thefts. In March, thieves staged a spectacular $75 million heist at an Eli Lilly warehouse, cutting a hole in the roof to gain access. Less spectacular (but perhaps more clever) is the worker from an environmental service company who stole and sold pseudoephedrine powder that his company was hired to dispose of.

But pharma companies are fighting back. They are reporting thefts in ways that help officials crack down on the crimes. And those officials have become better at collecting and sharing data. Drugmakers are also seeing success in by adding co-drivers, providing drivers with guns and using tracking technologies on trucks and drugs.

Special Report: Top 10 pharma cargo thefts, 2009/2010