An unknown number of blank prescription pads have been stolen from hospitals in New York City since 2008. The thefts are thought to be linked to gangs selling prescription painkillers illegally.
The New York State Health Department believes the stolen prescription forms are mainly being used to obtain the painkiller oxycodone, according to The New York Times. The prescriptions have been used in New York as well as several other states, and at mail-order pharmacies, the article notes.
A memorandum by the Health Department says a large nationwide organized crime gang known to traffic in illicit and legal drugs is involved in the distribution of stolen prescription forms. State officials plan to review policies and safeguards to protect prescription forms at New York hospitals, and will draw up new guidelines, according to the memo.