Pharmacy employees contributing to Maine painkiller thefts

pharmacyMore than one-third of the prescription drugs stolen from Maine pharmacies are taken by employees, a new report has found.

According to this article, an investigation by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting of state disciplinary records has revealed that from 2003 to 2013, 16 pharmacists and 41 pharmacy technicians lost their licenses for stealing drugs from pharmacy shelves or from the patients whose prescriptions they filled.

There are 1,866 pharmacists and 2,461 pharmacy technicians in Maine, so the percentage of pharmacy employees caught stealing drugs is small – although much of pharmacy drug theft likely goes undiscovered and unreported, the article notes.

The American Pharmacists Association has said that pharmacists’ easy access to powerful painkillers often encourages them to take the drugs.

While Maine is seeing some progress in terms of curbing prescription drug abuse, substance abuse specialists in the state say there has been a sharp uptick in heroin addiction as pill addicts make the switch to the illegal street drug.

About Erin Marie Daly

I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. My book on prescription drug and heroin addiction was published in August 2014 by Counterpoint Press.
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2 Responses to Pharmacy employees contributing to Maine painkiller thefts

  1. The article says Maine is making progress in curbing prescrip abuse. Not true! We wont mandate our PMP system, we wont approve the good samaritan law, dont want to make naloxone available. Our crime rates, overdoses and pharmacy robberies are still increasing so I wonder where we are making progress??

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