Pharma fights retail Oxycontin thefts

One of the five Oxycontin bottles stolen during a Rite Aid robbery in Maine last fall contained a tracking device. And that device led police to the suspect's home, where they gathered enough evidence to make an arrest and then an indictment last month.

So goes one positive story about a theft of the painkiller of choice among thieves in Maine, reports the New York Times. Most of Maine's Oxycontin heists took place at Rite Aid and CVS stores.

The use of tracking devices in drug packaging is one tactic being used to fight retail drug theft. Another is pharmacist training by drugmakers. Oxycontin maker Purdue offers instruction on how to prevent robberies and what to do during one.

Some local law enforcement agencies are seeking federal help. They want to team on investigating the robberies and prosecuting them, in hopes that federal sentences will impose greater prison penalties.

- see the NYT report