CVS Pharmacy issued the following announcement on April 4.
New safes for controlled substances will help combat opioid epidemic in the state and reduce robbery incidents
All 169 CVS Pharmacy locations in Tennessee area now using time-delay safe technology
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 169 CVS Pharmacy locations in Tennessee. The safes will help prevent pharmacy robberies and combat the ongoing opioid epidemic in the state by helping to prevent diversion of controlled substance narcotic medications by keeping them out of the hands of unauthorized individuals. In addition, the safes will help CVS Pharmacy ensure the safety and well-being of its customers and employees.
Controlled substance narcotic medications that are sought after by robbers, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, are now stored in time delay safes in every CVS Pharmacy in the state of Tennessee. Time delay safes help deter pharmacy robberies 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 pharmacy robbery incidents in our Tennessee stores," said Everett Moore, Division Vice President of CVS Pharmacy. "We have seen that time delay safes, combined with the 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."
"CVS Health has been a great community partner in Tennessee, and I applaud the company on the installation of time delay safes in all of their pharmacies across our state," said State Senator Steven Dickerson. "The opioid epidemic has hit Tennessee 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 help do just that."
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 highly-visible signage to inform the public 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 factor in Nashville's crime. From time to time, pharmacies are targeted," said Deputy Chief William "Todd" Henry, Metro Nashville Police Department and representing the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. "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 Tennessee is the latest in a series of measures put in place by CVS Health to help combat prescription drug abuse in the state. CVS Health's commitment to preventing and addressing 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 5,390 in Tennessee, have participated in the program.
CVS Health has also completed installation of 19 safe medication disposal units in CVS Pharmacy stores in Tennessee, in addition to the five units it has donated to Tennessee law enforcement agencies. Nationwide, nearly 1,000 safe medication disposal units have been installed in CVS Pharmacy locations, adding to the more than 900 units the company has donated to law enforcement agencies. In total, the company has facilitated nearly 1,900 units nationwide, which have collected more than 719,000 pounds, or 326 metric tons of unwanted medication, including more than 5,700 pounds, or more than 2.5 metric tons in Tennessee 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 Health has worked with 48 states – including Tennessee – and Washington, DC to increase access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone, also known as Narcan. Patients can obtain this life-saving medication, which is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses, without an individual prescription in these states.
Original source can be found here.