In 2010 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declared an epidemic on prescription drug abuse. Since then, the DEA has implemented tighter access and stronger monitoring programs but demand has continued to increase. This has lead to double digit yearly growth in crimes like burglaries and robberies. However, drug diversions remain the #1 greatest risk both pharmacists and doctors face when carrying unsecured controlled narcotics.
According to the National Drug Intelligent Center (NDIC) the impact of Controlled Prescription Drug (CPD) diversion and abuse costs medical providers and insurers $78.5 billion a year.
Pharmacists and doctors face unique challenges in managing staff drug diversion risks. They may work from multiple office locations, are with patients, in meetings and don’t have the visibility to adequately manage their staff at all times.
Drug Diversions can result in the following:
America is addicted more to prescription pharmaceuticals than street drugs and research indicates 12% – 16% of all health care professionals are estimated to be addicted at some point during their career. Prescription drug loss happens through robbery, poor inventory control or employee theft through drug diversion. Prescription drug theft is rapidly rising due to self use and addiction. Additionally, as the street resale value of prescription narcotics rises so do the risks of gang related robberies and targeted organized crime activity. Healthcare professionals know how much a drug costs but often theft is tied directly to the street value of controlled substances. As street values rise, prescription drug thefts and diversions increase.
The total number of pharmacies and clinics reporting losses has increased.
The total amount of controlled substances lost has increased.
Individuals stealing from the pharmacy or clinic include:
Drugs most frequently reported loss include:
Meeting ONLY the minimum DEA requirements for practitioners carrying controlled narcotics storage as outlined in Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations will not protect you when something goes wrong. If something goes wrong, the DEA will investigate your hospital, clinic or facility and go through a detailed security checklist. Do you meet the DEA’s substantial requirements checklist? If not, you are at risk.
Burglaries, robberies and drug diversions represent a significant risk and expense to hospitals, clinics and pharmacies in the United States. Beyond direct insurance costs, which are driven by loss experience, facilities experience financial, business interruption and psychological costs. For pharmacists, even finding that a store has been burglarized overnight can be upsetting and cause the expenditure of thousands of dollars in an effort to prevent re-occurrence. Beyond what is covered by insurance, customers will pay deductibles that can easily be exceeded as a result of criminal efforts to gain entrance.
Hospitals, clinics and pharmacists that are victimized face hours of dealing with the police, the DEA, board of pharmacy, contractors and their insurance company. As state and national efforts increase to address the underlying problem of prescription drug diversion, healthcare facilities will face increasing administrative and regulatory compliance costs.
According to the DEA, there are several measures pharmacists can take to prevent and minimize the damage of a potential robbery, burglary or internal diversion.
A well designed, tested and reliable alarm system. Alarm codes need to be protected and police response needs to be adequate.
Protecting doors and windows to slow down or eliminate the possibility of entry. If the crooks cannot gain entrance within a few minutes, they will usually leave.
Installing a time delay safe. The overwhelming majority of criminals are in and out in less than two minutes. Locking target drugs in a sound, well secured time delay safe can make a crucial difference in the size of the loss. Statistics have show time delay safes REDUCE crime by 75 – 85%!
Having a plan and training employees on what to do if a robbery occurs. This can mean the difference between life and death.
Audit controlled and authorized access electronic SAFE storage of all high street value Schedule I (medical marijuana – where allowed by law), Schedule II, and Schedule III narcotics in your pharmacy, clinic or practice.
Keep SAFE storage within common view and far away from any public access points.
Keep a 24/hr security camera on the storage on the time delay SAFE with remote monitoring. Do not erase or record over previous data.
The DEA recommends: The best “one two “punch is a pharmacy equipped with an alarm system and a professionally designed solid steel time delay safe. Alarms limit available time and time delay safes protect against large losses of targeted drugs – primarily Schedule I (where allowed by law), Schedule II and Schedule III narcotics.
Installing an alarm system and having Scripps Safe TRXP Series model safe with the unique Time Delay Narcotics Access Control System provides a “triple” punch of safety.
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