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Enhance the safety and security of your pharmacy

March 17, 2021
Prevention is key to protect your pharmacy, your staff, and your patients from being robbed.

Pharmacies continue to be a target for robberies and burglaries. In Calgary alone, more than 40 pharmacies have been robbed or burglarized since September 2020, with more than 30 of those incidents taking place since January 2021. In response to this trend, ACP has met with the Calgary Police Service (CPS), Edmonton Police Service (EPS), and RCMP to share information and discuss more strategies to help pharmacy teams prevent future events.

Resulting from our discussion with police were these main pieces of advice for pharmacy teams:

  • Keep inventory of drugs typically targeted in robberies and burglaries (such as codeine-containing syrups) to a minimum and post signage indicating your pharmacy stocks only a minimal amount of narcotics (or, alternatively, your pharmacy does not carry narcotics at all). Be aware that in some instances, pharmacies have received phone calls before they are robbed, asking if they have liquid Cotridin in stock.
  • Review your pharmacy’s security systems (including alarms and video surveillance) regularly to ensure they are in good working order.
  • All security systems should assist in protecting staff and customers in addition to inventory.
  • All pharmacies should have policies and procedures in the event of a robbery or burglary. These policies and procedures should be reviewed and practised with staff regularly.
  • Inform your neighbouring businesses that pharmacies have been the target of robberies lately and ask them to call police if they see any suspicious behaviour in or around your pharmacy.

ACP has developed an online resource for pharmacy teams to help prevent robberies and burglaries. The webpage also provides advice on what to do during and after a robbery. Pharmacy teams are encouraged to use our online tool to report robberies and burglaries to ACP on a voluntary basis. This will allow ACP to securely share information with your colleagues that could help them prevent future events. The information collected may help the college with future policy decisions.