Drug thefts at Minnesota health care facilities on the rise, report finds

by Andrew Krammer

 The number of drug thefts at Minnesota hospitals and nursing homes has more than doubled since 2005, the Star Tribune reported.

A report released Wednesday by the coalition of law enforcement and health officials found 250 cases of prescription drugs that were stolen or reported missing at Minnesota health care facilities from 2005 to 2011.

The findings mirror what experts claim is a nationwide surge of prescription-drug abuse. Minnesota has had multiple cases of prescription drug theft surface in the past year.

Last March, St. Cloud Hospital suspended a nurse who allegedly used a contaminated needle to steal medications from IV bags, spreading bacterial infections to 23 patients.

The law enforcement and health official coalition was formed last May in response to an increase in cases like these.