New Safes for controlled substances anticipated to help reduce robbery incidents
All 79 CVS Pharmacy locations in the state now using time-delay safe technology
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As part of an ongoing commitment to helping build healthier and safer communities, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) completed the installation of time delay safe technology in all of its 79 Oklahoma CVS Pharmacy locations, including those in Target stores. The safes are anticipated to help prevent pharmacy robberies and the potential for associated diversion of controlled substance medications including opioid medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone by electronically delaying the time it takes for pharmacy employees to open the safe. In addition, the safes are anticipated to help CVS Pharmacy ensure the safety and well-being of its customers and employees.
"I commend the leadership of CVS Pharmacy for implementing this technology that will act as a deterrent for would-be pharmacy thieves and will also thwart diversion from stores," said Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter. "The opioid epidemic has ravaged communities across our state and nation. With the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, experts have seen a resurgence of opioid addictions. This technology will ensure the safety of those behind the counter and from these dangerous drugs getting into the wrong hands. Innovation and ingenuity are just as important as policy proposals when protecting our communities. I thank the company for its work in keeping Oklahomans safe."
CVS Health first implemented time delay safe technology in 2015 in CVS Pharmacy locations across Indianapolis, a city experiencing a high volume of pharmacy robberies at the time. The company saw a 70 percent decline in pharmacy robberies among the Indianapolis stores where time delay safes had been installed.
Since then, the company has introduced time delay safes across 15 states and the District of Columbia, resulting in a 50 percent decline in robberies at CVS pharmacies in those local communities.
"Pharmacy robberies are a challenging issue for every pharmacy, and we are committed to doing all we can to reduce the number of incidents in our Oklahoma stores," said Tom Moriarty, Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel, CVS Health. "We have seen that time delay safes, combined with other security policies and procedures in place at our stores, can greatly reduce these incidents and are pleased to roll out this enhanced security measure. These safes will help ensure that our pharmacies remain a safe environment for our patients and colleagues."
The time delay function cannot be overridden and is designed to serve as a deterrent to would-be pharmacy robbers whose goal is to enter and exit their robbery targets as quickly as possible. All CVS Pharmacy locations in Oklahoma with time delay safes display visible signage warning that time delay safes are in use to prevent on-demand access to controlled substance narcotics.
CVS Health's time delay safe program is one of many company initiatives to help address and prevent prescription opioid misuse and diversion.
Through its Safe Medication Disposal Program in Oklahoma, for example, the company has installed 23 drug disposal kiosks in select CVS Pharmacy locations in the state.
Presently, the company supports more than 2,800 safe medication disposal units in CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide. Over the past several years, the company has also donated over 1,000 units to local law enforcement. Together, these existing medication disposal units have collected more than 2.1 million pounds of unwanted medications that might otherwise have been diverted, misused or ended up in the water supply.
Located in the pharmacy area of the CVS store and similar in design to a postal box, the safe medication disposal units allow customers to drop off unused prescriptions in a container or in sealed plastic bags if liquids or multiple medications are included.
Additionally, CVS Pharmacy locations that do not offer a safe medication disposal kiosk offer DisposeRx packets at no cost to patients filling an opioid prescription for the first time. According to the manufacturer, when warm water and the DisposeRx powder are added to a container, the combination breaks down medications including powders, pills, capsules, tablets, liquids or patches to a non-divertible biodegradable gel, allowing for safe disposal in the trash at home.
CVS Health's commitment to helping prevent and address drug misuse and diversion also extends to community education and increasing access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone.
Our Pharmacists Teach Program connects volunteer CVS pharmacists with local students to encourage conversation and teach youth about the dangers of prescription drug misuse. Since 2015, our pharmacists have volunteered their time and delivered curriculum to nearly 600,000 teens and parents across the country. We've partnered with Discovery Education to expand the reach of Pharmacists Teach into more classrooms with a no-cost digital prevention program called Dose of Knowledge. This program provides standards-aligned resources to educators and pharmacists across the U.S. and strives to empower educators and pharmacists to address substance misuse and educate students to make good decisions for the health and well-being of themselves and their community.
Finally, CVS Pharmacy patients can now access the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone without an individual prescription at every CVS Pharmacy location nationwide, including all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. CVS Health has also worked with Google to help people locate naloxone at CVS Pharmacy and other locations in their community using Google's locator tool.
With its national reach and local presence, CVS Health has been working hard to help address opioid misuse and diversion with an enterprise-wide approach. To learn more about CVS Health's efforts, visit the company's Opioid Response website.
For downloadable time delay safe photos, please visit the Media Resource Center.
About CVS Health
CVS Health is a different kind of health care company. We are a diversified health services company with nearly 300,000 employees united around a common purpose of helping people on their path to better health. In an increasingly connected and digital world, we are meeting people wherever they are and changing health care to meet their needs. Built on a foundation of unmatched community presence, our diversified model engages one in three Americans each year. From our innovative new services at HealthHUB locations, to transformative programs that help manage chronic conditions, we are making health care more accessible, more affordable and simply better. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.