CVS Health has 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, by electronically delaying the time it takes for pharmacy employees to open the safe.
"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% 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% 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, CVS Health chief policy officer and general counsel. "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.
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.
CVS Pharmacy patients also can 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.
To learn more about CVS Health's efforts, visit the company's Opioid Response website.