Preventing Prescription Drug Thefts from Pharmacies

A look at recent crimes and what every pharmacy security director should think about when planning security, access and response plans for their pharmacies

In higher crime areas, it may be necessary to install a CCTV camera outside the employee entrance to ensure employees can view the outside area to ensure there is nobody waiting outside the door as employees exit the secured area. CCTV cameras have value for investigators piecing together evidence of a crime, but they often do little to prevent an incident from occurring. Their use should be judicious and employed with a clear purpose.

Quality Assurance

Whenever security technology is employed in a protection program, there must be a maintenance and testing program as well. This program is designed to ensure that deficiencies in the technology are detected prior to failure in an actual security emergency. Discovered deficiencies should be corrected as soon as possible and in some cases, supported by alternative countermeasures during downtime.

While this article can't cover every angle for protecting your pharmacy, it should at least get you thinking about the "what if" aspects of pharmacy security. Judging by the daily news reports of pharmacy break-ins, internal thefts and armed robberies, these scenarios are not unlikely for your business. Before a professional criminal who traffics in prescribed drugs makes a late-night attempt at your pharmacy's repository, or before an addicted criminal points a gun in the face of your employees, take the time now to assess your prevention and response plans as they relate to your local threat level. In the face of a wave of violent, pharmacy-directed robberies, it could mean the difference between a stifled theft and one that could mean fear, property loss and potential injury or loss of life.

About the author: Frank Pisciotta is president of Business Protection Specialists, a security consulting firm located in upstate New York. The former chief of security for Alfred University, Pisciotta is a member of ASIS and IAPSC, holds the CPP designation, and has experience as a director and trainer for the Bureau of Municipal Police, New York State Security Guard Training School, and has provided assessments and security system designs for many top companies. He can be reached by email at or by web at