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Sonitrol Commercial Security Blog ... by Joe Wilson



How to Protect Your Pharmaceuticals From Internal Theft

Posted by Joe Wilson

Jan 12, 2023 2:45:00 PM

pharmWhile no one managing a hospital or pharmacy wants to believe that their staff would steal from them, the reality is that workers are regularly caught diverting medications illegally. Just last month, two nurses in BC were caught stealing narcotics. This was done by diverting the drugs and falsifying records.

Some of the most common methods for drug scams include:

  • filling prescriptions for patients who have passed away;
  • filling refills early;
  • removing medicine from packaging then resealing it with glue;
  • taking fake or called-in prescriptions;
  • short filling and pocketing pills;
  • and replacing tablets with look-alike pills.

Sometimes these drugs are used by the person stealing them, or someone they know. Other times, the drugs are sold on the street for a profit.

How to prevent internal theft

There are many ways to prevent the internal theft of drugs and medication at your pharmacy or hospital.

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1. Educate yourself

Knowing the methods people use to steal drugs and falsify documents will help you keep an eye out for signs that it is happening. It’s important to always stay up-to-date as these methods are constantly evolving as people become more aware of the scams and new technologies are developed.

2. Implement policies and procedures

Having a strict policy in place that is regularly reviewed and updated is the best way to prevent internal theft. This policy can include monitoring everyone who has access to drugs, requiring two people to dispense drugs, properly tracking each dose of medication and ensuring nobody shares access credentials.

3. Install surveillance

Installing security cameras throughout your facility can be a great way to help deter theft by employees or external threats. To maximize their effectiveness, be sure to use a modern, up-to-date system with high resolution and low light capability.

Make sure you have 100% coverage and ensure employees are aware that everything is being recorded. If necessary, you can use hidden cameras, though well positioned cameras should be enough to deter and capture any crime.

4. Monitor access

Limit access so that only the employees who absolutely need to be around the drugs can access them. Whenever possible, keep high-risk drugs in a separate location and further limit access to trusted individuals. Monitor who is entering and exiting certain areas with managed access control technology, and make sure there is proper documentation of all transactions.

5. Conduct audits

Regular audits can be used to help identify discrepancies that might indicate theft or fraud. Audits can be done by a specialized team or by a third party. By regularly monitoring the data, you can quickly identify any problems and take corrective action before too much damage is done.

6. Maintain clean work areas

Make sure that your pharmacy and hospital is regularly cleaned and inspected. Having a clean, well-organized area will help to reduce the opportunity for theft.

7. Watch visitors at all times

Be sure to monitor all visitors to your facility, especially those who do not have authorization to be there, such as repair people, contractors and family. Make sure they are not leaving with anything they should not have and take extra precautions with any guests.

To learn more about how to protect your pharmacy or hospital from internal drug theft, contact us today.

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Topics: Pharmacy and Drug Store Security

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Joe Wilson, Owner of Sonitrol Western Canada

We provide our customers with the best commercial security solutions and quality service backed by our unique Guarantee and Commitment to Service. It's something unverified conventional alarm companies simply cannot guarantee!

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