Information provided by FBI-LEEDA and Purdue Pharma L.P.—
Law enforcement officials from various counties including Alameda, Castro, Fairview, Contra Costa and San Lorenzo counties attended a pharmaceutical drug diversion training in California on Thursday, December 5th, to learn how to fight illegal trafficking and abuse of prescription medications. The seminar was hosted by Sheriff Greg Ahern and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and presented by FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (FBI-LEEDA) and pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma L.P.
The education session was led by Ed Cartwright, with Purdue Pharma’s Law Enforcement Liaison & Education Department. Cartwright has 30 years of law enforcement experience, including investigating the illegal trafficking (or “diversion”) of prescription medications. Both sessions covered the types of medications that are targets for theft, illegal sale and abuse, common methods of diverting prescription medications and the difference between lawful and unlawful prescribing by healthcare professionals.
Attendees also learned about what law enforcement officials can do to deter pharmacy theft. RxPATROL®, a program created and funded by Purdue, helps pharmacists guard against robberies and burglaries and assists law enforcement efforts to catch pharmacy crime suspects. To date, law enforcement has used the program in combination with reward offers through local Crime Stoppers programs to catch more than 100 pharmacy theft suspects.
“Abuse of prescription medicine is dangerous and problematic, as with any illicit drug. Law enforcement and community members need to join forces to fight this crime,” said Sheriff Greg Ahern. “Training seminars like this one are geared toward further educating the men and women who are fighting hard to keep drugs out of the hands of people who choose to abuse them. Education is an essential tool in tackling the growing problem of prescription drug abuse.”
“These seminars provide an excellent opportunity for the law enforcement community to learn more about abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications,” said Tom Stone, Executive Director of FBI-LEEDA. “We are pleased to have an ongoing partnership with Purdue to help law enforcement enhance their drug diversion investigations.”
Cartwright discussed how the illegal trafficking and abuse of prescription medications can interfere with the care of people with serious illnesses and injuries.
“These medications have a legitimate purpose when used as directed,” according to John Gilbride. “However, abusing prescription medications can have dangerous and even deadly consequences and can make it harder for people who need these medications to get them.”
Purdue Pharma L.P. is a privately-held pharmaceutical company known for pioneering research on persistent pain. Headquartered in Stamford, CT, Purdue is engaged in the research, development, production, and distribution of both prescription and over-the-counter medicines and hospital products. Additional information about Purdue Pharma can be found at www.purduepharma.com. For information on Purdue’s efforts on drug diversion, visit www.rxsafetymatters.org and www.safeguardmymeds.org.
FBI-LEEDA is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation whose goal is to advance the science and art of Law Enforcement leadership and management; to develop and disseminate improved administrative, operational and technical practices to meet the needs of Law Enforcement executives throughout the world; to promote the exchange of information and training for executives of law enforcement; to actively seek the expansion of training programs for law enforcement executives and to encourage the participation of Law Enforcement professionals in future FBI - LEEDA training. FBI-LEEDA is not a part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or acting on its behalf. FBI-LEEDA members are chief executive officers of law enforcement agencies, directors and commissioners of public safety and elected sheriffs throughout the United States and numerous foreign countries. Additional information about FBI-LEEDA can be found athttp://www.fbileeda.org/.