Safe keeping: CVS Health completes installation of time-delay safes (352 of them) in every N.J. location

Technology helps prevent pharmacy robberies and diversion of controlled substance medications

In an effort to increase safe prescription drug disposal — and to lower the chance of prescription drug abuse — CVS Health recently announced it has completed the installation of 352 time-delay safes in stores in New Jersey.

Company officials said they feel the completion of the installations, part of a movement by the company to install more than 9,000 across the country, is a milestone. CVS also announced it had completed installations in Florida (838) and New York (569).

Time-delay safe technology helps prevent pharmacy robberies and the potential for associated diversion of controlled substance medications by electronically delaying the time it takes for employees to open the pharmacy safe. In addition, the safes can help deter robberies, improving the safety and well-being of CVS Pharmacy patients, customers and employees.

CVS Health first implemented time-delay safe technology in 2015 in CVS Pharmacy locations across Indianapolis, a city that was experiencing a high volume of pharmacy robberies. As a result, the company saw a 70% decline in pharmacy robberies in that area. Since then, there has been a 50% decline in robberies at CVS Pharmacy locations with the safes.

The effort is part of a two-pronged attack to help law enforcement, CVS officials said.

CVS Pharmacy’s in-store safe medication disposal bins, as well as those donated by the company to local law enforcement agencies, have collected more than 5 million pounds of expired or unused prescription and over-the-counter medication. Also, the company’s medication safety education programs, Pharmacists Teach and Dose of Knowledge, in partnership with Discovery Education, have reached nearly 2 million students and parents since 2015.

“We’re committed to helping prevent the abuse and diversion of prescription medications,” Dr. Prem Shah, a vice president with CVS Health and chief pharmacy officer at CVS Pharmacy, said.

“From innovative education programs to help children understand the importance of medication safety to investing in time-delay safe technology in our retail pharmacies, we’re focused on building safer communities.”