Mexico: 70% increase in drug theft during second quarter of 2017
The National Union of Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurs (Unefarm) reported a 70% increase in theft of medicines in establishments and distribution vehicles in the last three months, mainly in the eastern part of the state of Mexico and in the country’s capital.
The theft in medicines has led to the loss of approximately USD2.7 million and, also contributes to the rise of illegal trade of these products in the open market (street vendors and internet). About 4% of the medicines sold in Mexico are irregular (1.5% are for sale on the Internet and 2.5% in markets on wheels or illegal establishments), all of which represents approximately USD440 million a year.
The Unefarm, the authorities of the Federal Commission for the Protection of Health Risks (Cofepris) and the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) work in coordination to report the theft of lots of merchandise and detection of irregular market or web pages without the corresponding certificate. The Unefarm stated that from 2013 to date the federal authorities have suspended about 17,000 illegal advertising advertisements linked to health, of which 67% are on the internet.
The organization mentioned the existence of an international agreement between health agencies of Mexico, Colombia, Paraguay and Central America, in coordination with Spain, to combat this type of sites and, other agreements with portals such as Free Market and Second Hand for monitoring, in collaboration with the Cyber Police.
In the last year alone there were at least 50 robberies and assaults to pharmacies in the eastern area of the state of Mexico and Mexico City, reason why the entrepreneurs have had to resort to the purchase of Insurance policies, alarms and closed circuits of surveillance, but has been insufficient.