Sonitrol Security

Sonitrol Commercial Security Blog ... by Joe Wilson



Pharmacies Are Vulnerable To Armed Robbery - Good Pharmacy Security Is Essential

Posted by Joe Wilson

Apr 23, 2015 11:28:00 AM



Home-made flame throwers, guns and knives are the weapons of choice for armed robbers who hope to 

make a clean getaway after raiding pharmacies for opiates and opioids to be sold on the street. 


Criminals target the highly addictive and lucrative narcotics readily available at many pharmacies, making pharmacies as well as pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution facilities particularly vulnerable to break-ins from armed robbers.


 “Hundreds of thousands of units of oxycodone, morphine and other “opioids” are still being robbed, pilfered or otherwise lost from the pharmacy supply chain, despite some recent improvements, the statistics reveal.” – National Post 


With increasing incidents of armed robbery, it’s becoming more important than ever to protect your staff and your business from possible robbery and violence.  Today, stringent guidelines make security even more critical, with regulations in place requiring facilities to protect their property, assets, employees and patients.  


But where should you start?


Identify Your Risk


The pharmaceutical industry and pharmacies are at constant risk from internal and external theft and burglary due to the availability of over-the-counter and prescription drugs.  Combined with an extended range of product offerings, pharmacies are now subject to increased risks of theft.


Internal Risks and External Risks


Pharmacies are vulnerable to both internal and external threats.  Employee theft is a major internal risk since employees often have many opportunities to access powerful drugs like Hydrocodone and Oxycodone - even the person who unloads the truck or delivers prescriptions should all be properly vetted. Motivation for this type of theft can include drug addiction or financial gain.


Your staff have to be diligent and always alert to spot these common internal scams for pharmacy theft including:

·      Filling fake prescriptions or phoned prescriptions

·      Taking medication from the bottle and replacing with similar “look alike” tablets

·      Short filling prescriptions and taking medication

·      Filling unauthorized early refills


Addicted patients, professional criminals or frustrated customers are all among the list of external threats that make pharmacies vulnerable to violence and theft.


“Brandishing weapons ranging from guns and knives to home-made flame throwers, criminals continue to siphon away a large chunk of the nation’s powerful narcotic painkillers, Health Canada figures indicate.”- National Post


Check out this recent Global News story about a Burnaby phamacy held up at gun point - -


What's The Best Pharmacy Security To Protect Your Store From Violence and Theft?


Implementing an integrated security solution is the best option for protecting your drug store business from violence and theft.  

The first step in drug store security and protecting your pharmacy business is regulating who goes where and when.  This can be achieved through a managed access control system.  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.  This also creates an extra barrier between criminals and prescription drugs.


An access control system also works effectively with audio intrusion and verified video technology.  Audio intrusion detection is a unique and powerful technology based completely on sound.  When the alarm is triggered, Sonitrol’s expert operators listen-in to determine whether a break-in is in progress.  If it is a break-in, operators immediately dispatch police and relay real-time information.  


This is a highly effective method for protecting your business after-hours, as well as in a hold-up situation.  In the event of a robbery during business hours, a hold-up alert will be triggered to automatically activate a live audio feed.  The live audio feed to a central monitoring station will ensure police are dispatched immediately, catching the robbers before they have a chance to get away.


An additional complement to audio intrusion and managed access control is Sonitrol’s live monitored video.  SonaVision is a unique CCTV video surveillance system that will allow you to remotely monitor activity in your pharmacy, helping to reduce the risk of employee theft and increase employee safety.  SonaVision allows you to supervise of your site 24/7 while also allowing our operators to see what’s happening in the event an alarm is triggered.  Where audio intrusion allows Operators to hear a break-in, SonaVision allows them to see it as it’s happening.  This is an additional level of security that will act as a criminal deterrent and ensure police have real-time information that will help them apprehend thieves.


Commercial Security Experts!


About Sonitrol Western Canada:


We're so confident in our technology and responsive service, that no one else in the industry can match our guarantee.  Our unique verified audio and CCTV video business security solutions enable our operators to hear and see what is happening in your business before the criminals gain entry!!  We verify the actual source of the alarm, and we get the police to attend the scene immediately.  FOR A FREE SECURITY AUDIT, click here, or call 1-866-766-4876.

We are a security company with over 150 offices across North America serving clients across Western Canada in BritishColumbiaAlbertaSaskatchewanVictoriaVancouver EdmontonCalgarySaskatoon.

Sonitrol Western Canada, with its Verified Electronic Security Systems, is committed to providing customers with the most comprehensive security protection.  Cooperation in the elimination of false alarms is not only beneficial to the system’s user, but results in better protection of the entire community by allowing law enforcement to use their resources as efficiently as possible.

Topics: SonaVision Online Monitoring, Security for Pharmacies, Building Access Control

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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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