Friday, July 15th marked 10-months since DrugSafeBC launched in community pharmacies across the province. Back on September 15, 2015, the College held a press conference at a Vancouver pharmacy with Registrar Bob Nakagawa, Board Chair (now Vice-Chair) Anar Dossa, and Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer, to announce the campaign. The focus of the campaign was the introduction of time-delay safes to store narcotic and controlled drugs.
In 2014, there were 39 robberies reported to the College. From January to September 14, 2015, there were 41 robberies. In most of these cases, criminals obtained narcotic and controlled drugs as they were easily accessible. We are happy to report that the number of pharmacy robberies across British Columbia has dropped dramatically since implementing DrugSafeBC.
Since launching DrugSafeBC in September 2015, there have only been 8 pharmacy robberies, which is a major reduction. Criminals were not able to gain access to narcotic and controlled drugs where the 5-minute time-delay safe was used correctly.
*After further review, the number of pharmacy robberies in 2016 was adjusted from 7 to 5 as two incidents were re-classified as thefts.
Time-delay safes are to be used to store Schedule 1a drugs (those which fall under the Controlled Prescription Program). Pharmacy professionals are to use their professional judgment to incorporate the use of the time-delay safe into the pharmacy workflow. It should not stay open throughout the day.
We are hopeful that the downward trend in pharmacy robberies continues, and will be analyzing the metrics of DrugSafeBC once it reaches its 1-year mark in September 2016.
DrugSafeBC signage must be posted at every door and window of the pharmacy. To order free signage, please visit the Online Store in eServices.
For more information on DrugSafeBC, visit the College website.