WOONSOCKET, R.I., May 9, 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 140 CVS Pharmacy locations in Minnesota, including in Target stores. 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 anticipates these time delay safes helping to 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 Minnesota stores," said Ashlee Slocum, District Leader, CVS Pharmacy during an event today with a delegation of Minnesota officials at a CVS Pharmacy in St. Paul. "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."
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.
"Abuse of prescription painkillers and other medication is a significant crime factor in Ramsey County. From time to time, pharmacies are targeted," said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. "The use of smart technology, like that being displayed today, to help prevent thefts, burglaries and robberies enhances the safety of us all."
The implementation of time delay safes across all CVS Pharmacy locations in Minnesota is among numerous measures that the company has put in place to help combat the misuse of prescription drugs in the state. CVS Pharmacy's commitment 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 misusing prescription drugs, using a curriculum developed with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. More than 490,000 students and parents across the country, including 1,200 in Minnesota, have participated in the program.
CVS Pharmacy has also completed installation of six safe medication disposal units in CVS Pharmacy stores in Minnesota. These units are in addition to the 15 units the company has donated to Minnesota 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 791,000 pounds, or 359 metric tons of unwanted medication, including more than 11,000 pounds, or more than 5 metric tons in Minnesota alone. Increasing community access to safe medication disposal helps rid homes of unused medications that might otherwise have been diverted, misused or ended up in our water supply.
Additionally, CVS Pharmacy has worked with 48 states – including Minnesota – and Washington, DC to increase access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone, also known as Narcan. Today, all CVS Pharmacy locations have in-store signage to inform patients about the availability and accessibility of the potentially life-saving drug.
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.
SOURCE CVS Pharmacy