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CVS time delay safe

CVS Health completes rollout of time-delay safes in Arizona, Nevada

The safes are anticipated to help prevent pharmacy robberies and the potential for associated diversion of controlled substance medications.

As part of an ongoing commitment to support law enforcement and help build safer communities, CVS Health today announced the completed installation of time delay safe technology in all 198 Arizona CVS Pharmacy locations, including those in Target stores, as well as in all 97 Nevada CVS Pharmacy locations. 

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 benefit the safety and well-being of CVS Pharmacy customers and employees.

The company’s rollout of time delay safes in Arizona is in support of the state’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force, which was established by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich with support from the state legislature and the Arizona Retailers Association.

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The company’s rollout of time delay safes in Nevada is in support of the Nevada Organized Retail Crime Association’s efforts in partnership with local and state law enforcement, and the retail community to fight back against escalating organized retail crime.

“Our office is proud to take such an aggressive stand against organized retail theft,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “We applaud CVS for taking these proactive measures to help deter criminal behavior and reduce the chances of opioid and other controlled substance medications from unlawfully entering and endangering our communities.”

“The new security measures being implemented by CVS Health will help protect Nevadans,” said Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford. “These new safes will help reduce retail crime, protect employees and keep opioid medications off the street. In a state that has been hit hard by the opioid crisis like Nevada, these measures are invaluable.”

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% decline in pharmacy robberies among the Indianapolis stores where time delay safes had been installed. Since then, the company has introduced time delay safes in 21 states, including Arizona and the District of Columbia, resulting in a 50% decline in robberies at CVS pharmacies in those local communities.

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“While our company continues to focus on moving the country one step closer to a post-pandemic world by increasing access to COVID-19 vaccines, testing and other measures to help create healthy communities, supporting law enforcement efforts in their battle against organized retail crime also remains a focus,” said Thomas M. Moriarty, chief policy officer and general counsel, CVS Health. “Criminal activities that organized retail crime rings fund are a clear danger to our communities, so it is important that retailers, law enforcement and political leaders work together to solve this problem. Time delay safes can help reduce the theft and diversion of prescription medications and bring added security to our stores, which creates 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 Arizona 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 medication misuse and diversion. Through its Safe Medication Disposal Program in Arizona, for example, the company has installed 51 drug disposal units in select CVS Pharmacy locations and donated three units to local police departments in the state. To date, more than 60,000 pounds of unwanted and expired medication have been collected in Arizona.

Presently, the company shared that it supports over 4,000 safe medication disposal units in CVS Pharmacy locations and through local law enforcement organizations nationwide. Together, these existing medication disposal units have collected nearly 4 million pounds of unwanted medications that might otherwise have been diverted, misused or ended up in the water supply.

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