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Sonitrol Commercial Security Blog ... by Joe Wilson



Pharmaceutical Thefts are on the Rise in Western Canada

Posted by Joe Wilson

Dec 13, 2021 9:00:00 AM

During a two-week period in August this year, six Edmonton, Alberta pharmacies had Percocet, codeine and cotridin cough medications stolen from them. Pharmacists believe it was because prescription cough syrups like cotridin are difficult to obtain.  

This wasn’t just a one-off incident - pharmacy robberies are on the rise in Alberta. In 2019 there were eight robberies. This jumped to 18 in 2020 and in 2021 there have already been 39. This puts staff and customers at great risk, especially with criminals going behind the counter and demanding pharmacists open the safe.  

Pharmacy theft is also present in other western provinces in Canada. Just last month, armed robbers stole cash and pills from a pharmacy in Abbotsford, British Columbia. 

To help protect pharmacy staff and customers, a provincial working group has been created to address the problem. They recommend the following:  

  • Using time delayed safes to store narcotics  
  • Installing physical security measures like remote locking doors  
  • Limiting the amount of drugs and cash on site  

They also recommend panic alarms and enhanced security cameras to deter criminals and help police. This is where Sonitrol’s pharmaceutical security solutions come in.  

At Sonitrol Western Canada, we offer state of the art pharmaceutical and healthcare security solutions for the many types of facilities that exist. This includes places of high public traffic and inventories of drugs that are at constant risk of internal and external theft and burglary.  

Verified audio 

Sonitrol Western Canada's verified audio intrusion systems gives clients the fastest possible response time due to our unique sound detection technology. Whenever our sensors pick up abnormal activity on your premises, a signal is sent to our central monitoring centre where operators listen to live audio transmissions from your site.  

Once the alarm is verified, they immediately call the proper authorities. If no threat exists, reset your system without disturbing you or officials. Sonitrol’s verified audio intrusion detection system is one of the most powerful tools you can add to protect your thriving business. 


SonaVision is verified video security. On activation from panic or hold up device, video and audio are sent to our monitoring staff who immediately contact local police and request a prioritized response to an armed robbery.  

As the Sonitrol operator is watching and listening to the robbery in real-time, they are able to provide up-to-date information to police, which can help protect staff and customers as well as eliminate the possibility of a hostage situation developing. 

Managed access control  

Managed access control systems allow you to track movement throughout your pharmacy and restrict access to sensitive areas. You can control levels of authorization by using electronic locks, badges or cards, and readers. This will allow you to lock-up addictive narcotics and restrict access to trusted employees - creating an extra barrier between criminals and prescription drugs. 

Panic buttons  

In the case of an emergency, panic buttons will allow your team to instantly alert the monitoring company to help protect your team from harm. 

Panic buttons should be strategically placed throughout your pharmacy in hidden places that are easily reached by your employees. While the best places vary from one business to another, they are generally most effective in areas that are considered the front line of your business - such as the front desk. 

You may also want to install buttons in the back offices where managers might be able to see threats as well, or in the offices of key individuals. 

For more information on Sonitrol security solutions for your pharmacy, or to schedule a free security audit, 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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