How to Fight Back Against Pharmaceutical Crime

How to Fight Back Against Pharmaceutical Crime

The pharmaceutical drug epidemic in America has impacted communities across the country; and outside of the immense human toll, it's also taken a toll on pharmacies and their security.

While there is no magic bullet to ensuring the security of a pharmacy or a shipment of pharmaceuticals, there are steps that can be taken and tools that can be deployed which can help in suspect apprehension and asset recovery.

Installing a Professional Camera System to Monitor High-Traffic Areas

According to the Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Co., in 72% of all pharmacy robberies, criminals gain access through standard points of entry like a door or window. Installing security cameras to these high-traffic areas enables a security manager to monitor the comings and goings of employees and customers, gathering crucial evidence in the event of medication going missing.

Pharmacies present a unique challenge for installing security camera systems because there's no uniform structure for a pharmacy: They can be entire standalone stores, a section of a large store, or a small counter in a smaller store.

With the amount of security camera model types on the market, there is a way to tailor any system to any layout. And, because many camera systems work over a network connection, all of the camera feeds, even camera feeds from separate locations, can be viewed from one centralized location.

Choose from indoor or outdoor models and accommodate any number of environmentally specific settings. Obscured lighting, harsh weather conditions, large warehouse spaces—if there is a challenge to installing a security camera system, there is likely a camera that can meet a security manager's needs. And, with easy DIY installation, many brand-name camera systems can be installed without enlisting the help of a professional.

Covert Cameras Cover Security Camera Blind Spots

Due to the way pharmacies are laid out, with small offices, stockrooms and employee common areas, as well as narrow rows of medications, there tend to be a number of blind spots—areas unable to be covered by traditional security cameras.

If blind spots exist, odds are employees and would-be-thieves know where they are. Deploying covert cameras is an effective way to cover these blind spots, helping crack down on employee theft, shoplifting, cargo theft, and other common forms of pharmacy crime.

With dozens of unique housings, a security manager can choose from aerial-view cameras disguised as smoke detectors, or lower angle devices that look like AC adapters. There are even outdoor models that can be used to monitor loading docks and other sensitive areas on a property.

Covert cameras can also come as standard black box devices, which can be concealed in common objects found around a pharmacy, or hidden in hard-to-reach places like air vents. Many of these hidden cameras, like the Camscura WiFi for example, can be connected over a local network, allowing a security manager to stream feeds right from their smartphones.

Live Track Medication and Shipments With GPS Trackers

68% of the contents taken during pharmaceutical crimes are prescription narcotics. By using GPS trackers, a pharmacy security manager can always have the live location of this potentially hazardous product.

There are a number of types of GPS trackers, each suited for a different application in curbing pharmacy crime. Small, battery-powered trackers can be hidden in smaller parcels of medication, or larger asset trackers can be used for both vehicle tracking or shipment tracking. Hardwired trackers can be wired directly into a vehicle's power source to ensure that vehicles make it from distributor to pharmacy without deviation.

In addition to standard trackers, security managers can also use custom pill bottle trackers to protect against armed robbery or smash-and-grab operations. These devices appear as common pill bottles, but house tracker hardware that can be used to pinpoint the device's location in real time. Some security managers will even work with police, banking on bait bottles being stolen, and then using the tracker's location information to uncover organized crime rings.

GPS tracking platforms, like the one offered by BrickHouse Security, feature a number of tools specially suited for fighting pharmaceutical crime. Real-time trackers offer live map views as well as breadcrumb trails, so a security manager is able to see not only where a device is, but where it's been as well. Motion-activated tracking guarantees that if a device is moved, the security manager receives an alert and knows to check in on the tracker's location. Custom geofences can be drawn within the platform, which create a virtual border around a pharmacy or distributor. If the device happens to breach the defined area, the security manager receives an alert, and is able to track the device in real time.

Using all of the tools at their disposal, pharmaceutical security managers can fight back against this costly, potentially fatal brand of crime that hurts businesses and destroys communities.

(Image by N i c o l a, licensed under Creative Commons)

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