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Preventing Pharmacy Diversion with Time Delay Safes

February 21, 2019 | Pharmacy

As part of our multifaceted enterprise efforts to fight against prescription drug abuse, CVS Health is taking action to prevent pharmacy robberies, which not only put the safety of our customers and colleagues at risk but can also lead to the diversion of controlled substance narcotic medications. Time-delay functionality further secures the safes we use to protect controlled substances in our pharmacies. By utilizing this technology, along with other security policies and procedures, we are working to reduce incidents of theft altogether.

Time delay safes help deter pharmacy robberies by electronically delaying the time it takes for pharmacy employees to be able to open the safes. 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.

Expanding Time Delay Safes in the Community is Achieving Results

To date, we have installed time delay safes in five states and the District of Columbia – reaching more than 2,300 CVS Pharmacy locations. Each location with a time delay safe displays highly visible signage to inform the public that a time delay safe is in use to prevent on-demand access to controlled substance narcotics.

Our first time delay safes were installed in Indianapolis, Indiana – a city experiencing a high volume of pharmacy robberies – in 2015. Since then, we have experienced a 70 percent decline in pharmacy robberies among the Indianapolis stores – demonstrating how time delay safes, when utilized in combination with other measures, can greatly reduce these incidents.

Enterprise-Wide Strategy to Prevent Drug Abuse

The implementation of time delay safes in CVS Pharmacy locations is one part of a series of measures the enterprise is taking to help combat prescription drug abuse nationwide.

Our commitment to preventing and addressing prescription drug abuse extends to community education, efforts to encourage safe disposal of unused medication and increasing access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone. Furthermore, our Pharmacists Teach program, which has reached more than 450,000 students and parents across the country, brings CVS Pharmacists to schools to talk about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

For more information about our efforts in the fight against opioid abuse, visit Our Commitment to Fight Opioid Abuse and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.