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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Indiana Leads the Nation In Pharmacy Robberies

opioids
When the nation finally came to terms with the fact that it was facing a prescription drug epidemic, certain steps were taken to reign in the problem; unfortunately, few could have predicted that efforts to combat the issue would only create new problems. Practically every state now has a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) in one form or another, designed to track abusers, end overprescribing and deter doctor shopping (people who go to multiple doctors in a month for them same medications).

PDMPs have proven to be effective, but such programs do not address addiction - the driving force of the epidemic. Addicts who find it too difficult to acquire opioid medications will seek other means of attaining a high. In recent years the rate of heroin use has risen dramatically, as addicts switch from pills to dope, resulting in more overdose deaths. Another likely unintended consequence was a rise in pharmacy robberies. Since the beginning of 2015, more than 130 Indiana pharmacies have reported robberies, USA Today reports.

In fact Indiana, which has been in the news a lot lately due to an outbreak of HIV linked to the opioid narcotic Opana, leads the nation in pharmacy robberies. Ted Cotterill, the director at the Indiana Board of Pharmacy, said there has been a total of 151 robberies this year, the earlier figure did not account for attempted robberies.

“This puts us at number one in the country at the moment, which is not the kind of number one that Indiana wants to be in any category,” said Cotterill. 

While Indiana officials can’t be sure why they lead the nation in pharmacy robberies, it is likely that the crimes are directly linked to crack downs on prescription drug abuse, according to the article.

“While we have tightened the grip on prescribing and dispensing, we may have just driven that traffic elsewhere,” said Todd Meyer, prosecuting attorney for Boone County, Indiana.

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