— CLEAR (@CLEARHQ) September 28, 2018
On September 28, 2018, the Council on Licensure, Enforcement & Regulation (CLEAR), presented the College with the 2018 Regulatory Excellence Award for our work on pharmacy security measures.
The CLEAR Regulatory Excellence Award recognizes an individual, team, program or agency demonstrating an outstanding contribution to the enhancement of occupational or professional regulation, regulatory processes, or consumer and public protection.
Pharmacy Security in British Columbia
From 2012 to 2013, pharmacies in Vancouver, British Columbia experienced a 160% increase in community pharmacy robberies, often targeted for their prescription opioid medications. After being contacted by the Vancouver Police Department about the distressing number of pharmacy robberies, the College formed a working group to examine the issue comprised of representatives from law enforcement, pharmacies, CPBC staff and the BC Pharmacy Association. The working group developed a set of pharmacy security requirements aimed at reducing pharmacy robberies and protecting confidential patient health information. The cornerstone was a requirement that all community pharmacies store their narcotic drugs in a time-delayed safe. The measures were first introduced via policy in 2015, and transitioned to bylaw in 2017.
The College commissioned an evaluation of the pharmacy security measures by Dr. Martin Andresen, Professor of Criminology and Director of the Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies at Simon Fraser University. Dr. Andresen found strong evidence supporting the notion that the measures had their intended effect across the province. Notably in Vancouver where the majority of pharmacy robberies occurred, there was an immediate and substantial drop (94%) in pharmacy robberies after the College’s pharmacy security requirements took effect.