NCPA's Keith Hodges Appears on CNN "American Morning" to Warn against Prescription Drug Abuse and Pharmacy Crime

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Alexandria, Va. - June 1, 2011

As part of a series on prescription drugs in America, today's edition of CNN's "American Morning" program hosted Virginia pharmacist and National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Executive Committee member Keith Hodges, RPh to discuss pharmacy robberies and prescription drug abuse in a segment, Pharmacies as Targets.

CNN reports that there have been 1,800 pharmacy robberies in the past three years. Hodges, owner of Gloucester Pharmacy in Gloucester, VA, has experienced attempted break-ins by would-be thieves at his pharmacy and has installed a state-of-the-art security system.

In the interview, Keith talks about the need for greater education of consumers, physicians and pharmacists, and some preventative measures that are either currently in place or on the way. In 2008, NCPA began a partnership with Purdue Pharma and others to create its Protect Your Pharmacy Now! initiative, providing information and discounts on security and surveillance equipment to help pharmacy owners proactively prepare to keep pharmacies a place for safe and effective health care. Purdue developed RxPATROL®, an information clearinghouse available to pharmacists and law enforcement for critical information to guard against potential robberies and assist law enforcement in their efforts to successfully apprehend and prosecute those involved in controlled substance pharmacy crime. RxPATROL cites nearly 7,000 incidents against pharmacies since 2003, including 1954 robberies and 1248 burglaries.

Click here to watch the interview. CNN separately reported today about the "ballooning street value" of prescription drugs driving this trend.

Keith also serves as spokesman for the Safeguard My Meds campaign. It's a joint effort to educate patients about simple steps they can take to prevent commonly abused medications from falling into the wrong hands.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent a $93 billion health-care marketplace, have more than 315,000 employees including 62,400 pharmacists, and dispense over 41% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

Ask Your Family Pharmacist TM