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Pharmacy teams must remain vigilant to prevent robberies

May 3, 2023
Standards must be met to help ensure the safety of pharmacy teams and patients, and the security of drugs.

The requirement in the Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies (SOLP) that pharmacies must store narcotics and other at-risk substances in locked, time-delayed safes has helped reduce pharmacy robberies in Alberta.

In Calgary, only one armed pharmacy robbery has been reported since October 2022 and Edmonton went an entire calendar year (from March 2022 to March 2023) without a report of an armed pharmacy robbery. However, the Edmonton Police Service has reported to ACP that six pharmacy robberies have occurred in the Alberta capital since March 29, 2023. This serves as a reminder that pharmacy teams must remain vigilant in adhering to the standards to help prevent robberies.

Pharmacy teams must ensure the following:

  • Always keep ALL narcotics and other at-risk substances locked in the time-delayed safe.
  • Only open the safe when restocking or retrieving drugs. Do not leave the safe open or unlocked for any reason.
  • Do not store large quantities of narcotics or other at-risk substances in your pharmacy.

For further information on how to prevent robberies, keep your team members and patients safe, keep drugs secure, or report a robbery, visit ACP’s Pharmacy robberies and burglaries webpage.