CVS Fires Pharmacist and Employee over Robbery

December 17, 2018
Christine Blank

Failure to comply with CVS' robbery protocols resulted in dismissals.

CVS employee Zac Phillips, and an unnamed CVS pharmacist, were fired in early December because they did not follow the retailer’s procedures for handling a robbery.

In early November, a robber handed the unnamed pharmacist at a CVS store in Greenfield, IN, a note that read, “This is a pharmacy robbery”, WISH-TV reports.

The pharmacist walked the robber to the front of the store and explained to Zac Phillips, an employee of CVS for five years, what was occurring. When the alleged robber, 22-year-old Jaggar Maupin, put his hand on the pharmacist and bolted for the door, Phillips and the pharmacist tackled him.

Maupin was taken into police custody.

“We are not allowed to fight back; we are not allowed to do anything. We are just supposed to let them have these dangerous drugs and be on their way,” Phillips tells WISH-TV.

However, CVS tells Drug Topics that Phillips and the pharmacist did not act in self-defense.

“The recent incident at our Greenfield, IN, store was fully investigated. We determined that the employees involved did not act in self-defense and violated our policies, and as a result they were separated from the company,” Michael DeAngelis, senior director of corporate communications for CVS Health, tells Drug Topics.

“The safety and well-being of our customers and employees is always our highest priority.  We have stringent security policies and procedures in place to prohibit actions by employees that would jeopardize their safety and the safety of others. We remain committed to ensuring that CVS Pharmacy remains a safe environment for our colleagues to work and our customers to shop and fill prescriptions,” DeAngelis adds.

While he cannot comment on CVS’s policies and the employees’ termination, Richard Logan, Jr., PharmD, owner of L & S Pharmacy in Charleston, MO, and a former certified police officer investigating prescription drug fraud, says the pharmacist involved was courageous.

“From what I saw, the pharmacist displayed a great amount of courage in a tense situation. Walking an active robber to the front of the store to see him out was impressive,” Logan tells Drug Topics.

“Every situation is different. Every situation is dangerous. When I lecture, or even talk to my own technicians, I always stress safety first.  The goal is not to protect property, the goal is to survive,” Logan says.

Logan advises that pharmacists give the robbers what they want and get them out of the store as quickly as possible. “Cooperate until you feel in danger. At the point of danger, you have changed from being robbery victim to being someone trying to survive. It's dangerous and it's frightening. Your decisions have to be split second. The consequences can be life-altering or even life-ending.”

Pharmacies must have a plan to handle robberies in place, he said.

“It's important to give thought to this type of scenario. If you've… worked through different situations in your head, you're probably better prepared for it than the robber,” Logan says.

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