You own or run a Pharmacy and you’re worried that one of your employees is stealing from you?
We often think of a thief as a threatening individual, but what if a thief were among you at work. In a pharmacy you have the responsibility of managing a large number of medicines. What if these medicines started disappearing, or larger numbers than required were being ordered? Should you be worried. Read on to find out from a pharmacy owners own personal experiences of this...
Chemist and Druggist have released an article from an anonymous Pharmacy Owner who "had to turn detective" to prove that a Pharmacy Technician was stealing from them.
The Pharmacy owner explained through "months of stress" they were able to "uncover" that the employee at stolen thousands of pounds’ worth of goods.
Does this happen regularly in Pharmacies?
Anonymously they explained:
“In 2019, I employed a pharmacy technician. She presented as someone who had gone through a tough time at their previous workplace, and she had also been through some tough personal times as well. I took it at face value, as it resonated with me. I contacted the references she gave, which were positive, so I employed her.
The Pharmacy owner explained that they became alarmed that something may be amiss after “repeated errors in ordering for items that we didn’t use in those quantities”.
They exclaimed “I called the local police liaison officer and informed them that I suspected someone of stealing goods. That was the easy part.”
The Pharmacy owner had to “turn detective” to fact find. They stated that the police “weren’t particularly helpful”. After many emotional years they stated “She was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, on April 13. She also has to do 20 days' rehabilitation and 90 hours’ unpaid work.”
They explained to D+C that many Pharmacy Professionals were exceptionally helpful and offered ‘support and kind words’. However the whole process was exceptionally lonely for the Pharmacy owner.
They explained: “The whole experience has taken its toll on my mental health. Imagine that you suffer for nine months worrying about bills not adding up, you then catch the thief and wait two years for something to happen, to then learn the culprit has received a suspended sentence. You are then told you must now seek justice from the civil court to stand a chance to recover some of the money, but only after you pay the solicitor and court fees – and that doesn’t guarantee you will get the money back.”
The Pharmacy owner goes on to give advice to other Pharmacy Owners and Managers:
“Change rotas regularly and keep a log of them.
Install good quality cloud-based cameras, which you can bring up on a smart phone.
Ask wholesalers for regular business reports on items purchased based on frequency.
Spot check statements.
Always query bulk errors or repeated errors in ordering.
Ask staff to mark bank notes as they take them in.
If you haven’t already, encourage people to go cashless.
Carry out random bag checks.
Run Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.
Introduce data checks on personal devices.
Speak to your HR teams and get better contracts in place.
And, most importantly, prosecute dishonest employees and raise concerns.”
The anonymous source explain how he would offer guidance to governing bodies to protect pharmacy owners in a state of vulnerability and to prepare them for these situations.
We couldn’t even begin to imagine as a business what type of mental strain this would cause on a business owner. From an outside perspective there surely needs to be some measures put in place to ensure there is faster and more damming consequences for people who act in such unprofessional and criminal ways.
For the full article head over to Chemist and Druggist and dive into the terrifying world of a thief at work.