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Independent Pharmacies Protecting You and Your Medications
Date:3/26/2008

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is an op-ed by Stephen L. Giroux, RPh, President of the National Community Pharmacists Association:

With a renewed national spotlight on prescription drug abuse, especially among teenagers, it is important to note as well the often over-looked issue of crimes against pharmacies. Despite the fact that robbing a pharmacy to obtain powerful pain killers and other controlled substances is a federal offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison, there are indications that all types of crimes in our nation's community pharmacies -- robberies, burglaries, fraud and other types of diversion -- are on the rise.

As a community pharmacist of over 25 years and the current president of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), I am pleased that NCPA along with our partners at Purdue Pharma L.P. and FBI LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) are working together to combat pharmacy crime. We have launched an initiative called Protect Your Pharmacy Now! in the month of April to encourage pharmacists across the country to take steps to ensure pharmacy safety and security.

Part of the initiative includes Purdue Pharma's RxPATROL(R), a nationwide collaborative effort between the pharmaceutical industry and law enforcement agencies to collect, analyze, and share pharmacy crime information to better track criminals and bring them to justice. RxPATROL(R) also works with Crime Stoppers to offer rewards to expedite the identification and apprehension of these suspects. Anyone can call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-888-479-8477 to report information on a pharmacy crime for a reward of up to $1,000.

You can also help prevent prescription drug misuse and abuse each time you get your prescriptions filled. Destroy unused and out-of-date medications so that they don't get into the wrong hands. Don't share your medications or take someone else's.
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SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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