Retail Crime pp 325-353 | Cite as

Theft of Medicines from Hospitals as Organised Retail Crime: The Italian Case

  • Ernesto U. Savona
  • Marco Dugato
  • Michele Riccardi
Part of the Crime Prevention and Security Management book series (CPSM)


Theft of medicines is emerging as the new frontier of pharmaceutical crime and of organised retail crime. It is attractive to criminals due to the high profits and the relatively low risk, and it is facilitated by many asymmetries of the legal market. Using data retrieved from open sources and institutional reports, this chapter focuses on the theft of medicines from hospitals that occurred in Italy between 2006 and 2014. It describes what types of medicines are stolen, where and how, and it tests two hypotheses: (1) that stolen medicines are ‘laundered’ and resold on the legal market, exploiting the vulnerabilities of the pharmaceutical supply-chain; and (2) that organised crime—especially Italian mafias and Eastern European groups—plays a crucial role in this criminal activity, supported by a network of corrupt officials and white-collar criminals.


Theft of medicine Organised theft Pharmaceutical crime 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernesto U. Savona
    • 1
  • Marco Dugato
    • 1
  • Michele Riccardi
    • 1
  1. 1.Transcrime, Università Cattolica del Sacro CuoreMilanoItaly

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