NJ Board of Pharmacy offers guide to protect against Rx drug theft

May 3, 2013

The New Jersey Board of Pharmacy and the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs published a new pharmacy security guide to help prevent drug theft and diversion at retail pharmacies.

 

The New Jersey Board of Pharmacy and the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs published a new pharmacy security guide to help prevent drug theft and diversion at retail pharmacies.

The Best Practices for Pharmacy Security guidelines are available on the N.J. Board of Pharmacy’s website as well as the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs site.

“This list of security practices, developed in close coordination with stakeholders from both government and industry, represents the best steps pharmacists can take to protect their inventory from diversion and ensure that medication is dispensed only according to a valid prescription,” said N.J. Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa.

In 2012, New Jersey pharmacies reported nine armed robberies, seven incidents of break-ins or customer theft, and 24 incidents of theft by pharmacy employees.

The Best Practices for Pharmacy Security guide offer numerous security measures for retail pharmacies, including:

·       Where practical, Schedule II and Schedule III medications should be stored in a safe or substantial steel cabinet that is locked at all times.

·       Pharmacies should have a monitored security system that transmits an audible, visual, or electronic signal warning of intrusion. “The security system is required to be equipped with a back-up mechanism to ensure notification or continued operation if the security system is tampered with or disabled,” the guide states.

·       Pharmacists should consider maintaining a perpetual inventory for C-II and C-III medications, as well as other items identified to have high street value, such as Alprazolam and diazepam.

·       Pharmacist should verify the accuracy of each C-II and C-III order and sign off on each receipt and invoice.

·       All pharmacists should register with the N.J. Prescription Monitoring Program, and regularly access it to verify possible doctor shopping or abuse.

·       A pharmacist who suspects that a practitioners may be indiscriminately prescribing controlled dangerous substances (CDS) should contact the practitioner or ascertain whether the prescription is being issued for a legitimate medical purpose. Pharmacists should report practitioners about whom they have “substantiated concern” to appropriate professional licensing board and the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

If a pharmacist is unfamiliar with a patient who picks up a CDS prescription, the pharmacist should require photo identification at the time of purchase.