CVS introduces time delay safes in Michigan to keep prescription drugs out of hands of robbers

Attorney general believes this is an important step in fighting opioid crisis

By Priya Mann - Reporter, Kayla Clarke

DETROIT - CVS Pharmacy is working to combat the opioid epidemic with time delay safes.

The company said pharmacists are often targeted by thieves looking to get large amounts of prescription pills. Michigan is one of the first handful of states rolling out the time delay safes in all CVS locations.

"With this technology, he (the pharmacist) puts a code in and then at some point the safe opens," Elizabeth Ferguson who works with CVS said.

Every CVS Pharmacy across Michigan is now equipped with time delay safes, aimed at protecting pharmacists and keeping highly addictive opiods from being readily available.

"We have had armed robbers come in who have left without drugs because the safe did not open. It can be very stressful to be a pharmacist," Ferguson said.

The time delay function cannot be overridden.

"The difference is, in a typical pharmacy, you can just open the safe when the prescription is ready. Here you put the code in and at an unknown time, you take the drugs out," Ferguson said.

Some people, however, are concerned about the change.

"So, if the person can't give them the drugs and they have a gun and they're unhappy will it result in tragedy anyways," a concerned resident said.

CVS said they have not found that to be the case when it comes to the delay.

"It's a time period that's long enough that if you were gonna rob the place you're not going to wait for it to open," Ferguson said.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said it's an important step in fighting the opiod crisis.

"I'm concerned every day. It's an enormous problem, you know? And we have enough problems, right?" Nessel asked.

Local 4 is not showing the time delay safes for security reasons. CVS in Indianapolis said they saw a 70 percent drop in armed robberies after they were introduced.

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