NCPA, Purdue Pharma L.P. Continue to Fight Pharmacy Crime and Drug Diversion



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Pharmacists Can Learn to Protect Against Theft and Diversion During 5th Annual "Protect Your Pharmacy Week"

Alexandria, Va. - April 16, 2012

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), Purdue Pharma L.P. (creator of RxPATROL®), and their partners recognize April 16-20 as the fifth annual "Protect Your Pharmacy Week." The week is a reflection of the Protect Your Pharmacy Now! initiative begun in 2008 by the partnering organizations to encourage pharmacists to protect their stores, staff, and patients against pharmacy crimes, including prescription drug robbery and thefts.

A highlight of the week is the annual call for volunteer video nominations for the Protect Your Pharmacy Now/RxPATROL Pharmacy Safety and Security Video. These training videos have featured various NCPA members offering real-life examples, tips and suggestions to on pharmacy theft, primarily regarding robberies and burglaries. This year’s video will address instance of prescription fraud and diversion, such as forgeries, internal theft, and doctor shopping. The video will be revealed at the 2012 NCPA Annual Convention and Trade Exposition in San Diego, October 13-17.

As NCPA Past President and TX pharmacy owner Joseph Harmison said in March before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Hearing on “Prescription Drug Diversion: Combating the Scourge”, “[Community pharmacists] are proud of the fact that most independent community pharmacies have strong, long-lasting, face-to-face, personal relationships with their patients. This in fact serves as a deterrent to abuse because we know our patients, making it easier for us to detect a doctor shopper just looking for more controlled substances. Accordingly, we support efforts to educate pharmacists regarding how to effectively fulfill their role in decreasing prescription drug misuse, abuse and diversion.”

During Protect Your Pharmacy Week, NCPA members can also take advantage of a special webinar on internal theft and diversion. Pharmacists in all settings can read a weeklong series on various aspects of pharmacy safety and security on NCPA’s blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

As a recent segment on ABC World News illustrates, crimes against pharmacy is a continuing problem, with an 82 percent increase in pharmacy robberies alone in the past five years, according to the DEA. NCPA recently mailed to its members an updated reissue of its Protect Your Pharmacy Now! toolkit, with safety and security tips, and checklists to help pharmacies assess their current security needs. In addition, NCPA members receive posters and window clings to serve as reminders to employees, customers, and drug seekers that robbing a pharmacy is a federal offense and carries with it severe penalties. The kit also includes discounts NCPA has secured for employee background screenings, narcotics safes, surveillance systems, cameras, alarms, and other theft deterrent products to provide a turn-key resource for pharmacy operators.

In addition, NCPA recently endorsed the Safe Doses Act (S. 1002), legislation increasing penalties for theft and diversion of prescription medications. The issue will also be addressed at the upcoming NCPA Legislative Conference in May, with a pharmacy crime panel featuring representatives from Purdue Pharma L.P., the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

“Purdue Pharma L.P. is proud to partner with the National Community Pharmacists Association in providing to their members RxPATROL® materials that will help pharmacists make their business a harder target. This year’s materials include a pharmacy security checklist, safety tips, window security decals and posters, and access to RxPATROL’s Twitter pharmacy crime feed,” said John Gilbride Director of Purdue’s Law Enforcement Liaison and Education program. “Through RxPATROL, Purdue is helping law enforcement solve crimes and helping pharmacy owners protect their businesses and customers.”

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent a $93 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 315,000 people, including 62,400 pharmacists. Independent community pharmacists are readily accessible medication experts who can help lower health care spending. They are committed to maximizing the appropriate use of lower-cost generic drugs and reducing the estimated $290 billion that is wasted annually by improper medication use. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

Purdue Pharma and its associated U.S. companies are privately-held pharmaceutical companies known for pioneering research on persistent pain. Headquartered in Stamford, Conn., Purdue Pharma is engaged in the research, development, production, and distribution of both prescription and over-the-counter medicines and hospital products. Additional information about Purdue Pharma can be found at www.purduepharma.com.

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