Medication Security in Pharmacies
Appropriately storing and safeguarding medications against potential theft and prescription fraud is a fundamental responsibility of all pharmacies.
- Between 2006 and 2010, armed robberies at pharmacies rose 81%.
- In 52% of pharmacy crime cases, criminals entered through the front door or window
- Most pharmaceutical crimes take less than two minutes to execute.
- Even when drugs aren’t taken, property damage typically exceeds $500.
- In the past five years, the average cost of drug crimes has increased 39%.
Protect both the product and your personnel, and keep loss costs low, with an aggressive security strategy.
1. Secure the Pharmacy Perimeter
Put technology in place to discourage potential drug thieves from targeting your store. While installing an alarm monitoring system is a good place to start, it alone won’t deter all criminals. With an average police response time of 11 minutes, it’s easy for criminals to carry out a two-minute crime and leave before law enforcement arrives.
Pair alarms with video surveillance technology to further avert offenders. Since many perpetrators will case out the pharmacy days before striking, video surveillance can help you detect suspicious behavior before a criminal strikes.
2. Guard Highly Targeted Medications
Painkillers, like Oxycodone and Vicodin, are highly sought-after prescription drugs and often targets of pharmaceutical raids. Keep these and other high-profile medications secure. Consider access control key passes, in which each employee is given a unique credential that grants him or her access to specific medicine cabinets.
In addition, access control solutions log the time each employee opens cabinets. If you face internal theft issues, access control can help you narrow down suspects.
3. Have a Response Plan
Have a well-documented plan of action in the event of a pharmaceutical robbery. These events happen quickly, so it is important all employees understand:
- The chain of command.
- How to notify authorities—i.e. a panic button.
- Appropriate response steps.
- How to mitigate loss cost and maintain personnel safety.
For a more in-depth look at how to create an emergency plan, see our blog post, Keeping Employees and Stakeholders Safe In An Emergency.
Is your pharmacy prepared for the dangers of a potential robbery? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Image Source: Steven Depolo via Flickr