The safety and security of pharmacy teams and patients is a priority for the College, and we are aware of the impact pharmacy robberies can have on Ontarians.
Pharmacy robberies can put people’s physical and mental health at risk, and stolen prescription medications can contribute to the escalating opioid crisis. That’s why the College is collaborating with law enforcement stakeholders such as the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) and pharmacy stakeholders to identify and implement practical crime prevention strategies through a Pharmacy Safety Initiative.
Recognizing the rise in reports of pharmacy robberies across Ontario, the College’s Board of Directors discussed the use of mandatory time-delayed safes in all community pharmacies at its December 12, 2022 meeting.
At its March 21, 2023 meeting, the Board approved updated policies requiring the use of time-delayed safes and associated signage in all community pharmacies. The College is sharing information and FAQs (see below) to support registrants in implementing time-delayed safes in their pharmacies.
The province-wide use of time-delayed safes has proven to be an effective robbery deterrent in other jurisdictions such as British Columbia and Alberta and is a measure that is supported by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, local police departments, the Ontario Pharmacists Association, and various corporate and independent pharmacy stakeholders.
- Printing and posting guidelines
- 11”x17” sign for display at each public entrance (English | French)
- 8.5”x11″ sign. Designated Managers have the option of using the smaller 8.5”x11” sign or the larger 11”x17” sign in the dispensary. (English | French)
- Signage FAQs
Resources for Pharmacy Professionals
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Designated Manager – Medication Procurement and Inventory Management Policy
- Designated Manager – Required Signage in a Community Pharmacy Policy
- Effectively Integrating a Time-Delayed Safe into your Pharmacy’s Workflow (May 2023)
- 3 Ways Time-Delayed Safes Make Pharmacies and Communities Safer (January 2023)
- 3 Tips to Prevent Pharmacy Robberies (May 2022)
- Safety and Security for Pharmacies: Preventing Robberies (February 2018)
- Fact Sheet – Controlled Substances: Security and Reconciliation
- Fact Sheet – Controlled Substances: Reporting Loss or Theft
Resources for the Public/Patients
The College has posted answers to some commonly asked questions from patients about time-delayed safes.
Updated: February 28, 2024