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Protecting Your Pharmacy from Theft by Employees – Fidelity Insurance

May 25, 2013

Although theft of inventory and fraud occurs across all industries, it can be particularly serious when it comes to pharmacies because drugs can be dangerous when used improperly or abused.

Nearly a third of all shoplifting is committed by employees, either through them concealing the stock and removing it from the premises themselves, or allowing an acquaintance to steal for joint gain. Regardless of how the theft occurs, the resulting loss not only has implications for the business due to loss of stock, but also for its customers (for example when fewer pills are dispensed than is required on the prescription).

Case Study

In 2009, a pharmacist was sentenced to 12 months in prison after it was discovered prescriptions had been fraudulently duplicated in patients’ names without their permission, and not dispensed to them.

The pharmacist had submitted a large number of duplicate prescriptions to the Prescription Pricing Authority for payment, and after searching his house the Metropolitan Police found currency and a number of prescriptions providing additional evidence of fraud.

Acts such as fraud, theft, corruption and money laundering cost UK companies £32bn in 2003, and £8bn was spent on top of this to combat the problem. The average cost of employee theft is £1,988 however an element of embarrassment often leads to a blind eye being turned to employee crime.

Although these criminal acts can never be eradicated completely, protecting your pharmacy with the correct insurance and risk management will dramatically decrease the cost and damage they will cause to cash flow, employee morale and the reputation of the pharmacy.

In a pharmacy it can be more complicated than simply locking money away in a safe to prevent temptation in staff; however it is very important that you perform frequent and thorough checks to prevent theft in the first place. For example, having a good CCTV system can act as a deterrent to both staff and customers.

For more information on how you can prevent theft in your pharmacy, and to find out if your current policy is protecting you from theft or fraud by employee, please contact us on 02380 558200, or fill in the contact form.