[Pharmwaste] Fwd: [RxNews] Pharmacy robberies for pain killers more
likely than bank robberies
gressitt at gmail.com
Tue Feb 8 09:37:46 EST 2011
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Stevan Gressitt <gressitt at gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 9:36 AM
Subject: Fwd: [RxNews] Pharmacy robberies for pain killers more likely than
To: ec-mapp at googlegroups.com
So now we have more deaths from prescription overdose and more pharmacy
robberies than bank heists.
Stevan Gressitt, M.D.
Faculty Associate, University of Maine Center on Aging
Academic Member, Athens Institute for Education and Research
Founding Director, International Institute for Pharmaceutical Safety
University of New England, College of Pharmacy
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland, Maine 04103
gressitt at gmail.com
Don’t Shoot! Pharmacy Robberies for Pain Killers More Likely Than Bank
Posted on February 8,
by admin <http://www.accessrx.com/blog/author/admin/>
*February 7, 2011*
By Brian Bujdos
[image: Pharmacy robberies for pain killers are increasing according to the
New York Times reports that there have been more than 1,800 pharmacy
robberies in the U.S. since the beginning of 2008. This has led pharmacy
chains, as well as family-run stores, to change the way they do business.
One small drug store in Maine has stopped selling Oxycontin. In fact, the
owner put up a sign saying as much, in clear view of would-be criminals. The
pharmacy-heist problem is getting so bad in Maine that the U.S. attorney
there has called in the Feds to help work some of the cases. If the cases
are tried in Federal Court, they can often bring more severe penalties,
including more jail time.
The most requested medications for robbers are painkillers Oxycontin and
Vicodin, as well as Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug. People who are addicted to
pain killers are not the only ones involved with the robberies. Authorities
say that, because one 80-milligram Oxycontin pill often sells for $80 on the
street, gangs and other individuals who are looking for a big payday are
also at fault.
[image: There have been more than 1,800 pharmacy robberies since
U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reports that there were 21 pharmacy
robberies in Maine last year. There were only two there in 2008, and then
seven more in 2009. Maine, Oklahoma and Oregon have seen the biggest spikes
in pharmacy robberies in the last year. The DEA also reports that Florida,
Indiana, California, Ohio and Washington have earned the uncoveted
distinction of having the most incidents involving armed robberies at
pharmacies since January 2008.
Pharmacists in the states listed above, and others, have increased security
at their stores as pharmacy robberies continue to become more common than
bank robberies in many places. Some of the most common security measures
include video surveillance systems, tracking devices in pill bottles, the
raising or cordoning off of pharmacy counters so that would-be criminals
can’t get over them and time-release locks on safes. Many pharmacies also
carry lower inventories for painkillers and similar drugs.
[image: Pain killer addicts and criminals looking to make $80 per Oxycontin
pill are both to blame for the increase in pharmacy
the manufacturer of Oxycontin, Purdue Pharma, is consulting with police
departments to provide advice on investigating pharmaceutical robberies.
Purdue is also working with pharmacists to train them on how to prevent
robberies and what to do if one happens.
The pharmacy-heist problem has gotten so bad in Washington state (more than
100 incidents since 2008), that some pharmacies are having challenges hiring
enough pharmacists to work the risky job. Also in Washington, authorities
are working with the state legislature to toughen laws for robberies in
which no weapon is displayed. The current minimum sentence for that crime in
Washington is just three months.
Washington is not alone. Pharmaceutical bandits have pharmacy workers
throughout the country fearing what could happen next.
Read more health news
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