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Moed presents plan to prevent opioid theft from pharmacies and protect pharmacy employees

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House members this week debated two proposals from Rep. Justin Moed (D-Indianapolis) designed to decrease the theft of controlled substances from pharmacies that end up on the streets in our communities, and allow pharmacy employees to lawfully defend themselves in the event of a robbery.

The first proposal would improve safety at pharmacies by requiring controlled substances, including opioids, to be stored in time-released safes was defeated. With Indiana currently working hard to stem the tide of the opioid epidemic and leading the nation in pharmacy robberies, increased security of controlled substance in pharmacies has become a critical issue. The Indiana General Assembly continues to bypass taking necessary steps to prevent these kinds of robberies.

Moed said, “Time-released safes would provide a much needed deterrent against robberies of pharmaceutical prescriptions that end up in the wrong hands in our communities.” 

The second proposal would prevent pharmacists and other employees from being terminated, demoted, or retaliated against by their employer for lawfully defending themselves in the event of an attempted robbery. The amendment received overwhelming bipartisan support and was adopted into the bill. 

Last November, a pharmacist and an overnight clerk at a CVS in Greenfield were fired because the clerk responded to a man who used physical force to steal Oxycodone from the store. When they asked why, the pharmacy cited a violation of one of their policies that prohibits employees from engaging in physical confrontation during a robbery. 
“Criminals have caught on,” Moed said. “Pharmacies have become an easy target for robberies in Indiana. They know the employees are prohibited from resisting or defending their lives and instead are ordered to hand everything over. These stolen drugs are then sold in surrounding neighborhoods, adding to Indiana’s opioid crisis.”

Moed hopes that the General Assembly will continue to consider the additional safety proposals throughout the current legislative session to prevent the easy flow of opioids from pharmacies to neighborhoods.

House Bill 1246, authored by Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem), will be eligible for further action next week.

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