BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — In a partnership with Attorney General Jeff Landry and Law Enforcement, CVS is making a commitment to curb the retail theft of Opioid medications. 

To tackle this rise in crime, all 133 CVS locations in Louisiana will now be equipped with time-delay safe technology, making potential robbers who want to make a quick exit think twice. 

“Pharmacy robberies are one the most visible elements of what is seen across all pharmacies in this state, not just CVS,” said CVS Health Chief Policy Officer Thomas M. Moriarty. “Gangs target pharmacies to steal narcotics and other prescription drugs to sell them on the street and online to fund other illicit activities.”

“The underlying factor that’s driving violent crime is drugs,” said Attorney General Jeff Landry.  

While this technology is new to Louisiana, it was first introduced in Indianapolis in 2015 as part of a successful trial run. The safes are anticipated to help prevent pharmacy robberies and the potential for associated diversion of controlled substance medications — including opioid medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.

“We saw a 70% drop in pharmacy robberies since then, we’ve installed this technology in 32 states and Washington D.C.,” said Moriarty. “Time delay safes have successfully demonstrated that they help deter pharmacy robberies by electronically delaying the time it takes for pharmacy employees to be able to open the safe. “

CVS reported a 30% increase in thefts during the pandemic. CVS hopes their efforts will help control the misuse of opioids. 

“60% of opioid addicts start their addiction with someone else’s prescription,” said Landry.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t any official unveiling of the safes themselves. CVS says they can’t be shown to avoid a compromise of security. 

The CVS Health time delay safe program is one of many company initiatives to help address and prevent prescription medication misuse and diversion. 

Presently, the company supports over 4,300 safe medication disposal units in CVS Pharmacy locations and through local law enforcement organizations nationwide.