B.C. pharmacies face new security measures
B.C.'s college of pharmacists says robberies have increased dramatically over the past seven years
B.C.'s college of pharmacists announced plans Tuesday to mandate security requirements for pharmacies in response to a dramatic rise in violent robberies.
A new program called DrugSafeBC will require all community pharmacies to store their narcotics in time-delay safes.
The college says B.C. is the first jurisdiction in Canada to mandate security requirements for pharmacies.
Time delay locks function by increasing the amount of time it takes open a safe. Once an employee enters a code into the lock, the safe only opens after a programmed delay.
According to the college, pharmacy robberies have increased dramatically in the past seven years. Weapons are used in 92 per cent of robberies, the bulk of which take place in under two minutes.
Pharmacies must also post signs about the enhanced security measures.
The college says U.S. pharmacy chain Walgreens saw pharmacy robberies drop by 76 per cent after introducing a similar program in 2009.