Italian Mafia Blamed for Stolen Roche, Lilly Cancer Drugs

May 08, 2014

Wall Street Journal

Italian law enforcement has reported that a highly organized criminal ring is behind the distribution of stolen and counterfeit cancer drugs throughout Western Europe.

In mid-April, the EMA warned that stolen vials of Roche's Herceptin had re-emerged, contaminated, in the UK, Germany and Finland. Batches of Eli Lilly's drug, Alimta and Remicade, marketed by Johnson & Johnson and Merck, had also been stolen. The drugs were allegedly stolen from hospitals or distribution trucks in Italy and then transferred to a licensed Italian wholesaler.

According to the pharmaceutical watchdog, Italian Medicines Agency, the criminal ring involves the Camorra -- one of the oldest and largest Italian organized-crime syndicates -- and Eastern European networks.

Read the WSJ article here