Using 4SIGHT to Reduce Theft in the Pharma Industry

December 10, 2013

According to an article published by ChainLink Research, the average size of each pharmaceutical theft incident in the U.S. in 2012 was about $120,000. Compare that to just four years ago, when the average incident was about $4 million. This is a reduction in costs that totals more than 30 times in just a few short years. Furthermore, the numbers of incidents reported during the same period have been cut in half.

Let’s take a look at one of the largest pharmaceutical thefts in recent years. On a stormy Friday night, March 14, 2010, thieves scaled up the side of Eli Lily’s Enfield, CT warehouse, cut a hole in the roof, rappelled down into the warehouse and disabled the alarm system. For the next three and half hours, they filled a 53 foot trailer with about $76 million worth of a variety of drugs. Utilizing security systems such as 4SIGHT Yard and Dock Management System can help reduce these thefts.

4SIGHT uses state-of-the-art technology to provide facilities with increased visibility, productivity Imageand security in their yard, loading dock and warehouse to prevent these pharmaceutical thefts. Whether you need a yard management system with real-time RFID and GPS information, a dock management system that helps increase efficiency, or a customized solution for your specific drug application, 4SIGHT can provide the tools to make the most of your operation’s security.

Trucks and trailers can now be outfitted with GPS tracking, anti-theft devices, temperature monitoring and door open sensors. Crooks however, have gotten smarter and will try to find and disable the GPS device and/or have another trailer waiting to offload the goods within a few minutes. To counteract this, pharmaceutical companies also may hide a small GPS device somewhere on the trailer. Trailers may also be outfitted with an electronic lock that requires a PIN to get into the trailer. Some have a magnetic lock on the inside that can only be unlocked remotely via a secure cellular link.

Recently, a large US based drug manufacturer that produces many different types of over the counter medications as well as many controlled narcotics installed a tailored 4SIGHT system.  When a controlled drug is being shipped, the level of security in the warehouse and at the loading dock is raised significantly to prevent thefts like the one experienced by Eli Lily.

With the need to control the loading dock equipment remotely from a supervisor’s office, the tailored 4SIGHT system was designed to mimic the dock equipment controls on the main screen for each dock position.  When everything is in place, including the DEA for oversight of the loading process, the office can open the specific loading dock door and activate any required dock equipment remotely.  At the same time, the office can “lock down” all other dock doors in the area, basically creating a quarantine area for the controlled load.

This 4SIGHT design gives the company ultimate control of the loading dock equipment for their highly controlled shipping process.  It also saves the time and money to have additional supervisory level staff on the shipping floor.  Utilizing these systems has shown a direct correlation between the reduction of thefts and the reduction in the cost associated with theft.


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Most users see an ROI with 4SIGHT within 12-16 months. However, some users have seen an ROI as quickly as 6-9 months.