Pharmacy Robberies on the Increase – Develop Policies to Handle These Situations

Pharmacies being robbed and burglarized has seemingly dominated the news these past few weeks. Perhaps it ties in to the Holidays quickly approaching, but it is a fact of doing business that none of us can ignore. Just a few examples that have occurred the past week include:

– In Kentucky a man wearing camouflage and a bandanna to cover his face robbed the Draffenville Pharmacy by having his hand in his pocket as if he had a gun and demanded narcotics. The pharmacy staff gave him the drugs and police responding to the incident couldn’t find or identify him.

– In Georgia two separate Augusta Rite Aid pharmacies were robbed at gunpoint. The robber actually handed the pharmacist a note each time stating ” I have a gun, don’t push the button or I’ll shoot”. The robber escaped with oxycodone and Ritalin.

– In Roswell, New Mexico a similar robbery occurred when the Roswell Albertson’s pharmacy was robbed at gunpoint this past Tuesday by a man wearing a ski mask. The robber handed the pharmacist a note demanding specific medications that the pharmacist gave to him.

– In Ashland City, Tennessee a man robbed the Epson Drug Company Pharmacy at gunpoint and was given narcotics as demanded. The man pulled a gun on the pharmacy employees and demanded certain prescription medications be handed over.

– In Delaware last week the Hometown Drugs Pharmacy located in Harrington was robbed at gunpoint by a bandit who brandished a large black handgun at the pharmacist and demanded that he fill a bag full of narcotics or that he “would begin shooting customers”. The pharmacist complied and the man escaped with an undisclosed amount of prescription narcotics. A twist to this potentially violent robbery was that the pharmacist was certain that the robber was a male, even though he was dressed as a woman!

Keep in mind that not all the robberies and burglaries have been involving threats of violence or even occurring during open store hours. Several examples of after hour incidents have also received attention recently, including:

– In Altmore, Alabama burglars took prescription drugs in the middle of the night when the Buy Rite Pharmacy was closed by breaking in through a locked back door. The robbers actually used a large rolling trash can to smash the back door and gain entry!

– A California independent pharmacy was robbed when unidentified thieves actually entered the pharmacy when it was closed by entering through two vacant stores located adjacent to the pharmacy. The robbers actually gained entry into the pharmacy by cutting through the drywall of the two empty stores that bordered the pharmacy.

Are you and your pharmacy prepared to deal with situations like these? No one thinks that these situations will happen to us or our pharmacy businesses, but these are truly examples of the old cliché “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” being applicable. Do you have policies and procedures written for your business and employees to act on if such a crisis arises? Do you have inventory policies in place to help determine what was taken during a burglary? Do you have training in place to help your employees in these situations that will minimize your possible liabilities? If the answers are no, then contact HCC Pharmacy Staffing to see how we can help you.

Healthcare Consulting has been a full service Pharmacy staffing and consulting firm that has been in business for over 25 years. HCC has been helping pharmacies plan, prepare and deal with such crisis situations since 1989. Just a few examples of our services include:

– Development of Policies and Procedures
– Employee Crisis Training
– Inventory Management
– Pharmacy Management Consultation

Although we all hope that we will never personally deal with such situations, I strongly urge you to be prepared. Contact us on line or call us today for a Free Consultation at 800-642-1652 to discuss how we can help you.

Bob Miller

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