NCPA brings attention to theft at small pharmacies

Drug theft and shoplifting affect locally owned pharmacies as much as the nationally known brands.

Drug theft and shoplifting affect locally owned pharmacies as much as the nationally known brands.

To help the smaller stores, the NCPA launched “Protect Your Pharmacy” in April, reaching out to pharmaceutical manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacy associations, and educational institutions. “Increasingly, we're hearing calls from our members... about pharmacy crime... and we want to really provide resources and information on crime for our members,” says Valerie Briggs, director of external communications.

Strategy

Although the effort – anchored by “Protect Your Pharmacy Week,” April 14 to 18 – primarily targeted owners and operators of pharmacies, the NCPA also reached out to outside groups, including colleges and universities, the law enforcement community, and pharmacy organizations.

NCPA wanted to reach a wide audience, and draw attention to its efforts and the RxPatrol Web site, which tracks pharmacy theft. “We're... working with the stories and talking to them about security measures,” says Lisa Miller, NCPA's VP for public affairs.

Tactics
The NCPA conducted a media outreach campaign, as well as hosted press conferences and events. The team went beyond pharmacy publications to law enforcement trade and general interest publications.

The group's president crafted Op-Ed pieces for 24 newspapers, and sent a shorter version to 24 other papers. The association also created toolkits and conducted blog and Web site outreach, Miller says.

Results
The group has received 44 inquiries from pharmacies since launching the campaign, and has recruited a dozen new members to the organization. Nearly 60 NCPA members have registered for RxPatrol, which is the largest surge at the Web site since its creation in 2003.

Future
The NCPA will ask Congress to designate a week dedicated to pharmacy crime prevention.

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