Posted on May 12, 2015 in: Professional Practice
Preliminary 2015 data released by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) suggests that pharmacy robberies are on the rise, particularly in certain states. There were 829 total pharmacy robberies in 2014, with California leading the pack. That’s a 16 percent increase from the 713 total pharmacy robberies in 2013, the majority of which took place in Arizona. Thus far in 2015, Indiana saw the biggest increase in pharmacy robberies, with 34 reported between Jan. 1 and March 31.
A Pharmacy Times article discussing the data includes an interview with Ken Fagerman, MPA member and author of Staring Down the Barrel: A Pharmacist’s Guide to Diversion and Coping with Robbery. Fagerman developed a pharmacy crime watch in west Michigan, where pharmacies team up with local law enforcement agencies to catch criminals in the act. He also developed a program in South Bend, Indiana in 2012, working collaboratively with local police to curtail pharmacy robberies in the community. While writing his book in 2012, Indiana once again had the most pharmacy robberies in the country, but South Bend reported none for the year, a success he credits to the program as well as police assistance.
Members are encouraged to read the Pharmacy Times article online for more details, including additional data, tips for handling a robbery situation and the importance of pharmacist involvement in planning, which includes employers ensuring that their pharmacists and stores are prepared for handling robberies.