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‘Protect Your Pharmacy Week’ targets crime vs. drug stores

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association, Purdue Pharma and the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (LEEDA) are recognizing the week of April 19 to 23 as "Protect Your Pharmacy Week."

NCPA said Wednesday the week is an annual reflection of the "Protect Your Pharmacy Now!" initiative begun in 2008 by the partnering organizations to encourage pharmacists to protect their stores and staff against pharmacy crime, including prescription drug robbery and thefts.

This week, the partners will introduce new benefits as part of the free Protect Your Pharmacy Now! tool kit. NCPA members can request free ceiling mobiles to draw attention to security cameras in their stores, which could help discourage pharmacy crime, the association said. The mobiles remind consumers about the importance of safely storing their medication and are provided by Purdue Pharma as part of the company’s efforts to be part of the solution to prescription drug abuse and diversion.

In addition, NCPA members can receive discounts on products from Hamilton Safe, an Ohio-based manufacturer of security and drive-up equipment. The tool kit also offers RxPATROL training videos on pharmacy crime; discounts on closed-circuit TV cameras, recorders, and surveillance equipment; and safety and security tips from law enforcement professionals.

"Crimes against pharmacies are a sad fact of life in cities, suburbs and rural areas," NCPA president Joseph Harmison, an Arlington, Texas, pharmacy owner, said in a statement. "But there is much that can be done to make them more secure and to better protect pharmacists, staff and patients. NCPA and its partners have come up with some practical solutions and continue to look for more so that pharmacies remain a place of safe and effective health care."

NCPA said a recent story on CBS News, citing statistics from RxPATROL, a national database of pharmacy crime created by Purdue Pharma, reported a 31% increase in pharmacy robberies over the past year. Many experts believe that crime has increased across a variety of industries, including pharmacy, given the down economy.

"Purdue Pharma is a proud partner with the National Community Pharmacists Association in providing RxPATROL security mobiles to their members," remarked Rick Zenuch, 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."

FBI LEEDA is an FBI executive training program for national and international law enforcement executives who transmit RxPATROL alerts on a daily basis to FBI LEEDA members across the United States.

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