Eli Lilly and Co. and Health Care Businesses and Health Care & Life Sciences and Health Care & Insurance and Pharmaceutical

Lilly victim of theft from Connecticut warehouse

March 16, 2010

Thieves staged a Hollywood-style heist at a pharmaceutical warehouse over the weekend and made off with about $70 million in antidepressants and other prescription drugs, authorities said Tuesday.

Thieves cut a hole in the ceiling of an Eli Lilly and Co. warehouse in Enfield, a northern Connecticut city that borders Massachusetts, before dawn Sunday and rappelled inside, where they disabled an alarm and apparently loaded pallets of drugs into a waiting vehicle, police said. The thieves made off with enough drugs to fill at least one tractor-trailer, police said.

"Just by the way it occurred, it appears that there were several individuals involved and that it was a very well planned-out and orchestrated operation," Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza said.

The FBI has been called in to investigate.

Edward Sagebiel, a spokesman for Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly, placed the value of the drugs at $70 million. He said they included the antidepressants Prozac and Cymbalta and the antipsychotic Zyprexa. No narcotics or painkillers were taken, he said.

Zyprexa and Cymbalta were Eli Lilly's two best-selling drugs last year. Prozac was Lilly's first billion-dollar drug and the company's top seller before it lost patent protection several years ago.

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