The U.S. Division of Freightwatch International estimates $184 million worth of prescription drugs were stolen in 2009, a 350 percent increase from 2007, and the organization reported 129 pharmaceutical cargo thefts from 2006 to 2011.
The Drug Enforcement Agency also found an increase in the number of armed robberies at pharmacies from 2006 to 2010, from 380 incidents to 686.
In that same time period, the agency also reported the number of stolen pills went from 706,000 to 1.3 million.
THREAT TO PATIENTS
Schumer is worried that the spikes in this type of crime have overwhelmed police and that federal penalties for pharmacy theft are too lenient.
“Pharmaceutical theft not only leads to more addictive and illegal painkillers on our streets, it also puts in jeopardy the health of a patient who unwittingly uses these drugs after they end up on the black market or find their way back into pharmacies or hospitals (possibly re-labeled or replaced with other ingredients),” the release said.
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