Eli Lilly has identified the eight prescription drugs valued at $75 million that were stolen fom its east coast distribution center in Connecticut on Sunday. The list includes familiar and not-so-familiar-sounding treatments for depression (Prozac, Cymbalta, Symbyax), psychosis (Zyprexa), cancer (Gemzar and Alimta), ADHD (Strattera), and the blood-thinner Effient. A company announcement released yesterday details drug and lot codes.
The drug giant continues to work with police and federal investigators to prevent the drugs from appearing on the black market.
In a departure from the recent M.O. of in-transit drug cargo thefts, emboldened thieves hit the Enfield, CT, facility by cutting through the roof, rappelling into the warehouse, and disabled the alarm, according to reports. East coast operations are shut down and the company is meeting demand by shipping drugs from other sites, according to a local newscast.
The heist may well represent a step up in drug thievery, given the initial targeting and "Mission: Impossible"-style execution in the rainy late-Saturday/early-morning Sunday hours. This was no hit and run operation: The thieves likely worked two hours or more, picking, packing and loading the estimated 70 pallets.
Cargo thefts lately have been more common at terminals, carrier lots, and truck stops. Freightwatch International, among others, notes that cargo thieves are becoming better organized, at times targeting high-value drug shipments.
Last May, Lilly suffered a $37 million loss of insulin as a truckload from the company's Plainfield, PA, stopped for fuel. Thieves jumped in and took off, according to Freightwatch, in a USA Today report. A report of the theft by the driver led to quick recovery of the abandoned vehicle.
Editor's note: Article updated to include additional details about the theft and Lilly's statement.