by Valerie Briggs, MBA
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the recent robbery at Charlie’s Family Pharmacy in Seaford, N.Y. Pharmacy crime is a growing concern for us all and this recent event is a tragic reminder to reflect on the best ways to improve safety.
Pharmacists are always looking for ways to work with law enforcement to prevent pharmacy crime and there is no one-sized-fits-all panacea when it comes to diverse, independent pharmacists. This is why the National Community Pharmacists Association developed the Protect Your Pharmacy Now! Program in 2008 to help educate our members about pharmacy crime and to offer pharmacists a menu of ideas from which they can choose and personalize solutions that work for their pharmacy.
The safety offerings from the Protect Your Pharmacy Now! program include posters, window clings, and height stickers to serve as a constant reminder to employees, customers, and drug seekers that robbing a pharmacy is a federal offense and carries with it severe penalties. Among the other resources available are employee background screenings, narcotics safes, surveillance systems, cameras, alarms, and other theft deterrent products. Discounts are available for NCPA members.
In addition, there are tips and safety checklists from our partners at RxPATROL to assist pharmacy staff on how to not only stay safe in robberies but also to stay observant so that valuable information can be given to law enforcement. Some of those tips and other suggestions were featured by RxPatrol in the article “The Rx for Pharmacy Safety” in the April 2011 issue of America’s Pharmacist.
We are also developing new resources, discounts and information regarding pharmacy security as part of our upcoming 2012 Protect Your Pharmacy Now! campaign, including the upcoming fourth annual Protect Your Pharmacy Now! week, observed April 16-20, 2012. Tackling the issue of pharmacy crime is a big job and many people need to do their part. As always, the independent pharmacy community will be among them.