New Jersey attorney general's office releases anticrime best practices for pharmacy

NEW YORK — Retail pharmacies, drug makers and law enforcement have a variety of methods used to fight organized crime, and the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General has drawn up a list of best practices that pharmacies can use to keep stores, drugs, staff and customers safe.

The guidelines, released last week, offers such recommendations as keeping drugs that are controlled substances in a locked safe or locked refrigerator and only allowing the pharmacist to have access to them, as well as accompanying anybody who is not a staff member who enters the pharmacy, such as plumbers, accountants and building inspectors. Other methods include silent panic buttons and monitoring systems.

Pharmacy crime has become a growing problem across the country as drug addicts turn to prescription drugs to get high, and such drugs command high prices on the street and on underground online drug marketplaces. Popular targets for addicts include opioid painkillers and stimulants. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, armed robberies of pharmacies increased by 81% between 2006 and 2010, from 380 to 686.