Italian police arrest nine for selling stolen medicines

Blister packsNine people - including a pharmacist - have been arrested in Italy in relation to the sale of stolen pharmaceuticals.

Italy's Guardia di Finanza reported this week that the group is being held on suspicion of distributing 68,000 doses of stolen medicines - worth around €1.8m ($2m) - including cancer, arthritis and central nervous system (CNS) therapies.

The arrests in what is being called Operation Pharmalab comes on the midst of a long-running investigation into the organised theft of pharmaceuticals in Italy that had already resulted in more than 50 people being detained by police.

The latest case stems from 2014, when a hospital pharmacist working in the province of Salerno was arrested on suspicion of theft. Subsequent investigations resulted in the detention of several other members of the organisation, which according to the GDF distributed the drugs in Arzano, Casorio, Genoa and Naples.

The operation prevented thousands of expensive drugs, rendered useless and potentially dangerous as a result of being taken out of the legitimate supply chain, from reaching the hands of consumers, notes the GDF.

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