Pharmacy Robbery in New York: Disturbing News

Published Online: Tuesday, June 21, 2011
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What in the world is happening?

Pharmacy robberies have been around as long as I have been in the profession. Pharmacists have been killed in robberies, too. But somehow it seems to me that the problem is more in the news recently. See the news report of the recent killing of 4 innocent people in New York, including a pharmacist and his high school assistant.

Does this horrific event suggest that the problem of pharmacy robberies is increasing nationwide—or is there just more media reporting and instant news via the Internet? I once thought that putting in bulletproof glass to protect the pharmacist was overkill. But seeing how some individuals try to get access to controlled substances suggests to me that finding new ways to protect pharmacist employees makes sense.

Being sensitive to this practice reality cannot be ignored. This recent event in Long Island has many in the profession thinking about their safety and the nationwide oxycontin drug abuse problem. (Also see Cmdr John Burke’s column on this topic.)

How do you approach the possibility of robbery in your job? I think it is time to start a discussion now.

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