Rx Theft, Overdoses Labeled as Epidemic

By Boren, Jeremy | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 21, 2013 | Go to article overview

Rx Theft, Overdoses Labeled as Epidemic


Boren, Jeremy, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Prescription drug thefts at pharmacies are growing in step with an alarming increase in the number of prescription drug overdose deaths that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled "an epidemic."

Pharmacy inventories face threats from armed thieves as well as pharmacy employees who pilfer painkillers intended for patients, according to government data, pharmacists and police.

The New York Police Department last week announced a plan to plant GPS devices in empty "bait bottles" of painkillers on pharmacy shelves in hope of tracking sometimes-violent thieves who supply the black market with oxycodone and other narcotics.

There were 698 reports of armed robberies and 1.48 million units of prescription medication stolen at pharmacies in 2010, according to the most recent data from the Drug Enforcement Agency.

There has been a steady increase in such incidents since 2006, when 385 armed robberies were reported and 712,684 units stolen.

Pennsylvania had 35 armed robberies at pharmacies in 2010.

Data on pharmacy employees who steal from their supply are spotty.

The Pennsylvania Board of Pharmacy suspended the licenses of 20 pharmacists in 2012. At least half of the suspensions were related to prescription drugs the pharmacists stole, sold or consumed illegally.

Only the most egregious cases receive attention from news outlets throughout the state. Many of the disciplinary notices posted to the board's website are vague, only occasionally specifying the reason for license suspensions.

"Nobody really wants to broadcast that there's an impaired professional or health care worker," said Scott Drab, associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. "Since it's treated as substance abuse and a disease, no one wants to broadcast it. Where it comes out is when a patient could have been harmed."

That's what happened in the case of former pharmacy technician Cheryl L. Ashcraft, 43, of New Eagle.

The Pennsylvania attorney general charged Ashcraft this month with stealing doses of the painkiller oxycodone intended for 362 patients at Jefferson Regional Medical Center. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Rx Theft, Overdoses Labeled as Epidemic
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.