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CVS adds time-delay safes

CHARLESTON – CVS Pharmacy has announced it has completed the installation of time-delay safes in all 58 locations in West Virginia, including pharmacies located in Target stores.

The safes are anticipated to help prevent pharmacy robberies and the diversion of controlled substance narcotic medications by keeping them out of the hands of unauthorized individuals. In addition, the safes are anticipated to help CVS Pharmacy ensure the safety and well-being of its customers and employees and help deter pharmacy robberies – including those involving opioid medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone – by electronically delaying the time it takes for pharmacy employees to be able to open the safe, the company said.

CVS first implemented time-delay safes in Indianapolis, a city experiencing at the time a high volume of pharmacy robberies, in 2015. The company saw a 70 percent decline in pharmacy robberies among the Indianapolis stores where the time delay safes had been installed.

“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 West Virginia stores,” Dick Dakessian, division leader for CVS Pharmacy said. “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. All CVS locations with time-delay safes display signs warning the safes are in use to prevent on-demand access to controlled substance narcotics.

The time-delay safe program is among company initiatives to address and prevent prescription opioid misuse, diversion and abuse. The company also has expanded its Safe Medication Disposal Program in West Virginia, completing the installation of 27 drug disposal kiosks in select CVS Pharmacy locations in communities across the state, adding to the five units previously donated to local law enforcement.

In 2020, the company will add 1,000 in-store safe medication disposal units to the more than 1,800 units in CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide. It will also donate up to 400 additional units to local police departments, in addition to the 1000 units already donated to law enforcement. Together, the existing medication disposal units have collected more than 1.1 million pounds of unwanted or expired medications, including 7,600 pounds in West Virginia.

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