Alexandria, Va. - April 11, 2012
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today commended ABC World News for highlighting pharmacy crime on its April 5th segment, "Pharmacy Robberies Increase" and announced plans to provide NCPA members with new resources this month to enhance pharmacy safety.
The segment highlighted the growing number of pharmacy robberies nationwide, citing Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) statistics that robberies have increased 82 percent from 2006-2011 with 3,535 pharmacies having been robbed during that period. The report also shows images of robberies in progress from pharmacy security cameras.
"We applaud ABC News for highlighting what we believe is a growing public health concern," said NCPA President Lonny Wilson, DPH. "Pharmacists in all retail practice settings can benefit from learning more about how they can better protect themselves, their employees, and patients. The owners and operators of regional chains and single stores can implement practices immediately to better secure their businesses and to better prepare their employees how to respond in the event of a robbery."
NCPA is currently rolling out new resources as part of its Protect Your Pharmacy Now! program. The program's namesake toolkit is being mailed to NCPA members, ahead of the commemorative Protect Your Pharmacy Week, recognized April 16-20. The kit contains safety and security tips, and checklists to help pharmacies assess their current security needs. In addition, NCPA members receive posters and window clings to serve reminders as to employees, customers, and drug seekers that robbing a pharmacy is a federal offense and carries with it severe penalties. The kit also includes discounts NCPA has secured for employee background screenings, narcotics safes, surveillance systems, cameras, alarms, and other theft deterrent products to provide a turn-key resource for pharmacy operators.
During the ABC News segment, correspondent Pierre Thomas spoke with independent pharmacy owner Bruce Goodarzi of Rockville Pharmacy in Rockville, MD, who after experiencing two robberies in a month, is increasing security surveillance and storing drugs in narcotics safes.
In 2008, NCPA successful launched its Protect Your Pharmacy Now! program, partnering with Purdue Pharma, RxPATROL (Rx Pattern Analysis Tracking Robberies & Other Losses) and others to encourage pharmacists to protect their stores, staff, and patients against pharmacy crimes, including prescription drug robbery and thefts.
In addition, NCPA recently endorsed the Safe Doses Act (S. 1002), legislation increasing penalties for theft and diversion of prescription medications.
For more information or to get involved, pharmacists can visit www.ncpanet.org.
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. Together they represent a $93 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 315,000 people, including 62,400 pharmacists. Independent community pharmacists are readily accessible medication experts who can help lower health care spending. They are committed to maximizing the appropriate use of lower-cost generic drugs and reducing the estimated $290 billion that is wasted annually by improper medication use. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.
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