NEW YORK The fact that Congress stepped up to designate the week of April 13 as “Protect Your Pharmacy Week” is important as it further acknowledges and supports the fight against the growing problem of crime against retailers.
As stated in the article, the concept of “Protect Your Pharmacy Week” was created last year to encourage pharmacists to protect themselves, staff and patients against pharmacy crime, including prescription drug theft. New for this year is the Protect Your Pharmacy Now! Prescription Disposal Program, which offers information and resources for pharmacies to create consumer drug disposal programs to help their patients safely dispose of unused and expired medicines that may be dangerous to others and to the environment.
The news came on the heels of a letter sent by Steve Anderson, NACDS president and CEO, to Reps. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, praising the introduction of the Organized Retail Crime Act of 2009. This bill would define organized crime, expand fraud to include the illegal use of gift cards, UPC labels or RFID and requests that the United States Sentencing Commission review and amend the sentencing guidelines for convicted offenders.
The NACDS has stated that organized retail crime is responsible for more than $30 billion in losses annually, resulting in increased costs for merchants, higher prices for consumers, and lost tax revenue for state and local governments. In addition to increased costs faced by retailers to cover losses and investment of additional security measures, consumers are placed at risk when tampering occurs on such health care products as infant formula and OTC medications.