FORT WAYNE, Ind. (FOX 55) - Back in 2015, Indiana was ranked first in the nation when it came to pharmacy robberies, with the highest statewide rate in Indianapolis. That's when CVS Pharmacy started looking at measures to help keep their employees and customers safe. Now those safety measures are spreading throughout the state.
CVS officials announced today that all 338 CVS Pharmacies in Indiana, including those located in their Target store locations, will have time-delayed safes that controlled substances, like opioid-based pain killers, are kept in. These are already in place in Indianapolis CVS Stores, which has helped decrease the number of pharmacy robberies for the chain statewide.
Nathan Watson, Regional Asset Protection Manager for CVS said, “We saw an almost immediate reduction, greater than 70% reduction in the number of pharmacy robberies that were taking place. While I can’t share the exact number or quantity of incidents, I can tell you it was a significant problem and time-delayed safes helped curb that problem and really prevent and deter some of these issues from occurring in the first place.”
CVS is making the effort to stop the opioid crisis on several fronts. Their pharmacists go into schools to educate students and parents about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. They’ve also installed medical disposal bins in 50 stores statewide which District Leader Chad Buhr says helps keeps pills from falling into the wrong hands.
“This helps get the number of medications out of peoples medicine cabinets where that’s a great avenue for people to abuse. So far, we’ve had about 480,000 pounds worth of unwanted medication removed,” said Buhr.
Senator Liz Brown, (R) - Indiana 15th District, was on hand today to applaud the efforts CVS is making to help stop the opioid crisis. She believes they’re doing what they can to keep everyone safe.
Senator Brown said, “They’re going to keep the community safe and the employees safe, and they’re going to make sure that these thieves who are seeking illegal drugs are not going to be able to come in and steal these opioid drugs and get them out on the street. ”
The safes cannot be overridden under any circumstance, something Buhr believes will continue to stop criminals from trying to steal drugs.
Buhr said, "It’s not something I want to see every happen again and hopefully with these time-delayed safes, it’s going to be a big deterrent to prevent that”