WOONSOCKET, R.I., April 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), announced today that it has completed the rollout of time delay safes in all of its 186 CVS Pharmacy locations in Alabama. The safes are anticipated to help prevent pharmacy robberies and the diversion of controlled substance narcotic medications by keeping them out of the hands of unauthorized individuals. In addition, the safes are anticipated to help CVS Pharmacy ensure the safety and well-being of its customers and employees.
CVS Pharmacy expects these time delay safes to help deter pharmacy robberies – including those involving opioid medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone – by electronically delaying the time it takes for pharmacy employees to be able to open the safe. CVS Pharmacy first implemented time delay safes in Indianapolis, a city experiencing a high volume of pharmacy robberies, in 2015. The company saw a 70 percent decline in pharmacy robberies among the Indianapolis stores where the time delay safes had been installed.
"Pharmacy robberies are a challenging issue for every pharmacy and we are committed to doing all we can to reduce the number of incidents in our Alabama stores," said Thomas M. Moriarty, Executive Vice President and Chief External Affairs Officer for CVS Health during an event today at a CVS Pharmacy in Birmingham. "We have seen that time delay safes, combined with other security policies and procedures in place at our stores, can greatly reduce these incidents and are pleased to roll out this enhanced security measure. These safes will help ensure that our pharmacies remain a safe environment for our patients and colleagues."
"I applaud CVS Health for being a great community partner in Alabama, and I am pleased to join them today in announcing the installation of time delay safes in all of their pharmacies across our state," said Attorney General Steve Marshall. "The opioid epidemic has hit Alabama especially hard, as it has so many other states, and our communities are working to fight this growing problem each and every day. An important way to do so is to ensure that medications are kept out of the wrong hands and these safes will make it harder for criminals to steal them."
The time delay function cannot be overridden and is designed to serve as a deterrent to would-be pharmacy robbers whose goal is to enter and exit their robbery targets as quickly as possible. All CVS Pharmacy locations with time delay safes display visible signage warning that time delay safes are in use to prevent on-demand access to controlled substance narcotics.
The implementation of time delay safes across all CVS Pharmacy locations in Alabama is among numerous measures that the company has put in place to help combat prescription drug abuse and misuse in the state. CVS Pharmacy's commitment to helping prevent and address prescription drug abuse extends to community education, efforts to encourage safe disposal of unused medication and increasing access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone. The company's Pharmacists Teach program brings CVS pharmacists to schools across the country to talk to students and parents about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. More than 456,000 students across the country, including over 17,000 in Alabama, have participated in the program.
CVS Pharmacy has also completed installation of five safe medication disposal units in CVS Pharmacy stores in Alabama. These units are in addition to the 42 units the company has donated to Alabama law enforcement agencies. Nationwide, 1,029 safe medication disposal units have been installed in CVS Pharmacy locations, adding to the 950 units the company has donated to law enforcement agencies. Through this effort, the company has collected more than 715,000 pounds, or 324 metric tons of unwanted medication, including more than 18,000 pounds, or more than 8.6 metric tons in Alabama alone. Increasing community access to safe medication disposal helps rid homes of unused medications that could otherwise be diverted, abused or contaminate the water supply if disposed of improperly.
Additionally, CVS Pharmacy has worked with 48 states – including Alabama – and Washington, DC to increase access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone, also known as Narcan. Patients can obtain this potentially life-saving medication, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, without an individual prescription in these states.
About CVS Pharmacy
CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with over 9,800 locations. It is the first national pharmacy to end the sale of tobacco and the first pharmacy in the nation to receive the Community Pharmacy accreditation from URAC, the leading health care accreditation organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry. CVS Pharmacy is reinventing pharmacy to help people on their path to better health by providing the most accessible and personalized expertise, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS Pharmacy is available at http://www.cvshealth.com.
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SOURCE CVS Pharmacy