College Wins Regulatory Excellence Award for Pharmacy Security
On September 28, 2018, the Council on Licensure, Enforcement & Regulation (CLEAR), presented the College with the 2018 Regulatory Excellence Award for our work on pharmacy security measures.
CLEAR is a US-based, international association for professional and occupational regulators, and an international resource for professional regulation. Every year, CLEAR offers a limited number of awards, one of which is for regulatory excellence.
The CLEAR Regulatory Excellence Award recognizes an individual, team, program or agency demonstrating an outstanding contribution to the enhancement of occupational or professional regulation, regulatory processes, or consumer and public protection.
From 2012 to 2013, pharmacies in Vancouver, British Columbia experienced a 160% increase in community pharmacy robberies, often targeted for their prescription opioid medications. After being contacted by the Vancouver Police Department about the distressing number of pharmacy robberies, the College formed a working group to examine the issue comprised of representatives from law enforcement, pharmacies, CPBC staff and the BC Pharmacy Association. The working group developed a set of pharmacy security requirements aimed at reducing pharmacy robberies and protecting confidential patient health information. The cornerstone was a requirement that all community pharmacies store their narcotic drugs in a time-delayed safe. The measures were first introduced via policy in 2015, and transitioned to bylaw in 2017.
The College recently commissioned and received an evaluation of the pharmacy security measures by Dr. Martin Andresen, Professor of Criminology and Director of the Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies at Simon Fraser University.
Dr. Andresen analyzed changes in trends in the number of pharmacy robberies before and after the measures came into effect.
The evaluation found strong evidence supporting the notion that the measures had their intended effect across the province. Notably in Vancouver where the majority of pharmacy robberies occurred, there was an immediate and substantial drop (94%) in pharmacy robberies after the College’s pharmacy security requirements took effect.
“This initiative is truly an example of how the impact of professional pharmacy regulation can be felt beyond a pharmacy’s physical walls. The sharp reduction in pharmacy robberies means that the public and pharmacy staff are safer, and it’s now much harder for stolen medications to enter our communities.”
- Bob Nakagawa, Registrar, CPBC
The College would like to thank all those who contributed to the initiative, as well as CLEAR for recognizing our work. Receiving this award helps to reinforce the important impact that our work on pharmacy security has had on public safety in communities across the province.